Prevention - University of Houston
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What is the risk to the UH campus community?

The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11 declared COVID-19 a pandemic. A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes the immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states, including Texas. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC’s risk assessment will be updated as needed. The latest CDC risk assessment is available here.

What precautions should members of the UH community take?

  • Always practice good hygiene: wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid sharing food, cups or utensils.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Make sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid personal contact with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. CDC cleaning recommendations can be found here.
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Recognize the symptoms of this illness which may include a high fever, cough, difficulty breathing, similar to what you may feel with the flu or a bad cold.
  • Seek care and immediately notify the University Student Health Center or your health care provider if you are experiencing these symptoms.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Self-report any planned international travel to the University, whether it is personal or university-related travel.
  • Continue to refer to and follow CDC guidelines regarding "How to Protect Yourself" here.

What to do if you feel sick

If you are experiencing influenza-like illness, with fever greater than 100.3, and symptoms, including cough, body aches, severe sore throat, or runny nose, should seek medical attention, especially if symptoms worsen.

Students should contact the Student Health Center and identify themselves as having flu-like symptoms to obtain further recommendations and guidance. Students should also consult with their regular health care provider or seek treatment at a local health center if they are overseas. Please call ahead to your health care provider to notify them of the reason for your visit.

Faculty and staff who are ill with flu-like symptoms should stay home and contact their personal physician for further advice.

For additional information about COVID-19, including signs and symptoms, transmission and risk of exposure, and what to do if you are exhibiting symptoms, please refer to the links below. The CDC’s website and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will also issue guidance for those planning to travel or who have recently returned.