The new coronavirus sickened at least 60 University of Texas students who made a spring break trip to Mexico in March, ignoring officials’ advice on staying home and social distance, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
After three students tested positive for the new coronavirus after the trip, which took place March 14-19, the COVID-19 Center at the University of Texas Health Austin (UTHA) launched an investigation. Through contact-seeking initiatives, the center linked student infections to the Cabo San Lucas spring break trip, the CDC wrote in the report published Wednesday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
CORONAVIRUS INFECTS JUST FROM UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SPRING SWITCHES WHO CHARTED THE PLANE TO MEXICO
Of the 231 people tested for the new virus, 64 of them, or 28 percent, tested positive, “including 60 (33 percent) of 183 Cabo San Lucas travelers, one of 13 (8 percent) household contacts of Cabo San Lucas travelers, and three (9 percent) of 35 community contacts of Cabo San Lucas travelers, “according to the report.
About a fifth of the positive cases were asymptomatic. No one infected required hospitalization and no one died.
Many of the spring vacationers told officials that they shared a house while in Cabo San Lucas, and many of them returned to a similar living situation after arriving in Austin, where the University of Texas is located.
“The proximity created by this shared dwelling probably contributed to transmission through continued exposure and re-exposure to SARS-CoV-2. This pattern of social interaction, in which residents frequently meet to socialize and share facilities, is common among many college-age people and could lead to propagation, similar to the continuous person-to-person transmission observed on the premises long-term care, ”the authors of the report wrote.
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“This COVID-19 outbreak among a young and healthy population with mild or symptom-free symptoms was controlled with a coordinated public health response that included rapid contact tracing and testing of all exposed individuals,” they noted. The report’s authors concluded that “a coordinated response with contact tracing and testing of all contacts, including those who are asymptomatic, is important in controlling future COVID-19 outbreaks that could occur when schools and universities consider reopening.”
“The prevalence of shared housing and long-term exposure experienced by Cabo San Lucas college-age travelers highlights the importance of universities and schools considering how to align student housing arrangements with CDC recommendations for living in a shared home while they plan to reopen, “they said. additional.