College has set up a working group to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus, warning that “further global spread is likely”.
An email signed by John McGrath, the secretary to the College, and Dr David McGrath, the director of the College Health Service, informed students and staff that College has set up the group to “monitor the situation regarding a potential outbreak of Novel Coronavirus in Ireland”.
The email, marked “URGENT”, cited coughing, shortness of breath and a fever as potential symptoms of the disease.
McGrath and Coman warned students and staff who have recently returned to Ireland from “high-risk areas” of China – particularly in Wuhan City – and those showing symptoms of the disease to contact the College Health Service.
The HSE, the email said, will take the lead in any case of infection. It listed various ways to prevent infection – regular hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as cough or sneezing, avoiding visiting wet or live markets and contact with animals, excretions and droppings and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
And it warned that those “considering travel to China must heed the advice by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade”, as well as alerting Trinity Insurance of any plans to travel to regions in China near the affected area.
Trinity’s action in creating a working group to monitor the case comes after a Waterford IT student was put into self-isolation after travelling back from Wuhan, a city in China that has since been closed in a measure to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Irish Independent reported that Waterford IT have confirmed the student is not ill or showing any symptoms, but is staying in isolation in his accommodation as a precautionary measure.
If the student does not develop symptoms within 14 days after arrival in Ireland, he will be deemed clear of the virus.
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Correction: 12:23, January 28th, 2020
An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the secretary to the College. He is John Coman, not John McGrath.