DALLAS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The coronavirus has made headline after headline as an epidemic spreading like wildfire.
Ripping through China and South Korea, among other countries, this has prompted universities and study abroad programs to take a second look at their practices.
Eyewitness News spoke with some college students who have studied abroad about whether they’d do it again with the current climate.
“If somebody told me, even when I studied abroad, that I’d have a chance of getting sick, it wouldn’t stop me because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said King’s College senior Jarrett Gabriel.
King’s College junior Theodora Abah spent some time last summer in Greece and says on top of being a health major who has plenty of coronavirus in the curriculum, the college sends students with a wealth of preventative knowledge and an understanding of risks.
“Yes, it can kill people. This is true,” she said. “But most people can have the disease and recover from it because of their age or health status.”
This is backed by a Johns Hopkins University case database. It shows an overwhelming majority of those who contract the virus, recover.
Dr. Gerard Maritato is with Misericordia University which has no plans of cutting any study abroad programs. He says the virus warrants concern, especially among countries with underdeveloped healthcare infrastructure, but it’s not the global pandemic some are hyping it up to be.
“It’s a mild virus. Yes, it’s spreading quite a bit,” he noted. “We don’t know how long you could be asymptomatic and be carrying it. Very, very, very few people have died from it.”
Dr. Maritato says at its core, this virus can be prevented with typical preventative measures. Wash your hands regularly, avoid direct contact with people showing cold symptoms and be sure to research anywhere you’re expected or want to travel to.
You can find more information from the Center for Disease Control on their website.