University of Missouri-Columbia health officials are being tight-lipped about the details surrounding the case, but have confirmed that an MU graduate student has fallen ill with H1N1 — swine flu — while traveling to China.
This is the first positive case of swine flu confirmed in China’s mainland.
They’re not releasing his name due to federal privacy laws, but international news sources say Xueyang Bao, 30, started experiencing flu-like symptoms while on his way to China, where he plans to get married. Chinese health officials are working to contact the other 130 passengers on that flight to quarantine them.
Bao reportedly flew through St. Paul, Tokyo and Beijing before reaching Chengdu. Airline officials are working to contact others who were on the same flights as him to let them know about the situation.
According to the MU student directory, Bao is a geology student and expects to graduate with a doctorate in 2010.
MU officials have released a statement, saying they "are working with campus and public health professionals to investigate the situation and determine what actions, if any, should be taken."
"We continue to recommend that individuals follow the health guidelines that have been publicized earlier to avoid the spread of respiratory illness," said Susan Even, director of the MU Student Health Center.
Those recommendations include:
– Practice good hand hygiene, including washing hands and using hand sanitizers.
– Cough or sneeze into a tissue and place it in the trash, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
– Avoid crowds and people with compromised immune systems, and stay home.
– Seek medical attention only as symptoms warrant.
"At this time, as we’ve observed the H1N1 influenza in this country, the illness does not appear to be any more serious than the seasonal flu," Even said.