A&M and Baylor’s possible cases of coronavirus test negative

By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer, Video by Grace Smith | Broadcast Reporter

The suspected coronavirus cases in Brazos County and Waco-McLennan County have been reported negative by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both cases, involving a student at Baylor and a student at Texas A&M, alerted doctors of their symptoms more out of concern for their recent travel to endemic areas where the disease has spread, than for the seriousness of the symptoms.

Waco-McLennan County Public Health District official Kelly Craine said the patient at Baylor had mild symptoms of the flu-like virus, and was put in self-isolation as a precaution while awaiting the results of the tests taken last week.

Craine said the situation is rapidly evolving. “We are monitoring the situation closely still and following CDC guidelines as they come out,” Craine said.

“We are happy we don’t have a positive, but continue to be vigilant,” Craine said. “We are maintaining close contact with health care providers, hospitals, urgent cares and private physicians. Letting them know what they should be looking for when patients come into their office, making sure they’re evaluated and whether or not they should be tested and their information sent to the CDC.”

Dr. Sharon Stern, medical director at Baylor University Health Services, said the Baylor Health Center will continue to monitor those who traveled and patient travel history.

It is believed that after 14 days have passed since an individual’s travel date, they are no longer at risk of catching the virus, according to the CDC. Baylor students should now be outside of the 14-day window with the spring semester going on its third week.

The coronavirus has begun to infect different parts of the U.S. with cases present in California, Arizona, Washington and Chicago.

“There’s a smattering of isolated cases in different states, but no transmission while people are in the United States. As we learn more, I think we will have fewer fears,” Stern said. “There is still so much unknown about this virus and that is what makes it so scary.”