Dear Rutgers Colleagues,
We are closely monitoring reports from national and regional health agencies concerning the coronavirus. While there have been no reported cases in our region, I urge everyone to be mindful of the symptoms and to seek treatment immediately if you feel you may have contracted the illness. Up-to-date information about the coronavirus can be found on the CDC’s webpage for the illness and the New Jersey Department of Health webpage.
For people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus please especially monitor for the following symptoms for 14 days after returning from China:
- Muscle or body aches
- A dry cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues
This year it is especially important to receive the flu vaccine as many of the symptoms of the flu (including fever, body aches, and cough) are the same as those of the newly reported coronavirus. If you have not received a flu shot, please do so soon. The more people who are vaccinated against the flu will mean fewer cases of influenza and less opportunity for confusion between the two illnesses. To get vaccinated, you may contact your health care provider, Rutgers Occupational Health, or visit the NJ Department of Health website.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms following possible exposure to a person with coronavirus, stay home and seek medical care as soon as possible. Remember to call ahead and tell your healthcare provider’s office about your recent travel and symptoms. Please also avoid contact with others and do not travel.
Important steps you can take to prevent contracting or spreading these viruses include:
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve while coughing and sneezing
- Washing your hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds
- Using an alcohol-based sanitizer on hands if soap and water are not available
- Avoid touching your face
- Cleaning commonly touched objects and surfaces regularly
Wishing you good health.
Vicente Gracias, MD
Senior Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Vice President for Health Affairs, Rutgers University
Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH
Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Rutgers University