A Texas A&M student who was suspected of having the deadly coronavirus has tested negative for the mysterious illness, university officials said.
The unidentified man — a graduate student in his 20s — had recently traveled from Wuhan, China, where the pneumonia-like illness first appeared in late December and has since killed at least 80 people and infected 2,744 others as of midnight Sunday, according to Chinese health authorities.
The negative test results came back Sunday. The Brazos County Health District said Thursday that the student met Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for further testing after being treated at a local hospital, Texas A&M officials announced.
“We are very pleased with this news and grateful to those community caregivers involved for their expertise, proactive action and compassion demonstrated in treating our student,” the university’s director of student health services, Dr. Martha Dannenbaum, said in a statement.
The student, who lived off-campus, was isolated at his home as testing was conducted, health officials previously said. They declined to indicate when the student returned to the US or what airport he used for his trip back home.
As of Sunday, CDC officials had confirmed five cases of coronavirus in the US — with patients in Arizona, California, Illinois and Washington.
“The virus genetic sequence from the patient in Washington is nearly identical to the sequences posted from China,” CDC officials said Sunday. “The available sequences suggest a likely single, recent emergence from a virus related to bat coronaviruses and the SARS coronavirus.”
Many of the patients in China had some link to a large seafood and animal market, indicating the virus was spread from animals, but a growing number of patients have not been exposed to live-animal markets, CDC officials said.
“At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people,” the federal agency said.
With Post wires