Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus and Flu

Dear colleagues:

As you likely know from news coverage, a new respiratory illness associated with a novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, in late December, and has now affected more than 500 people. Although most infections have been identified in China, several have occurred in individuals who traveled to Wuhan City and returned to other countries, including cases in Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, and one in Washington State. While most of the early cases were linked to exposure in a seafood and animal market, there is now evidence of person-to-person spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with state and local health departments to institute several efforts to control further infections, including screening passengers at SFO who arrived on direct flights from Wuhan.

No individuals have been identified in California with novel coronavirus infection. However, it’s important to be aware of the situation and to remind ourselves that there are steps we can each take to protect ourselves and our community against both a novel coronavirus illness and much more common respiratory infections like seasonal influenza. We are currently in the midst of the annual influenza season and influenza activity remains high.

There are a number of important things that you can do to prevent the spread of all respiratory infections:

  • Here is the most important thing to do: If you have a fever or flu symptoms, do not come to school or to work. Stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, unless you need medical care.
  • If you do need medical care because you have a fever, cough, or other respiratory symptoms and you’ve traveled to Wuhan City, China, or have had close contact with someone who was sick who recently traveled to Wuhan City, please make sure to call ahead to let your provider know. Also, please inform Occupational Health Services about your geographic link before returning to work, by emailing [email protected].
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, not your hands, when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school.
  • Practice healthy habits: get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • If you have not received your annual flu shot, please visit the Department of Occupational Health Services as soon as possible and bring your UCSF ID. Drop-in visits are available at Parnassus, Mount Zion and Mission Bay sites. Students also can obtain flu vaccines at the Parnassus and Mission Bay Student Health clinics. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland main campus has drop-in hours in the Employee Health Office.

We will continue to monitor the emerging situation and are working closely with colleagues at the San Francisco and California Departments of Public Health to coordinate efforts across health facilities.

If you’d like additional information, see the links below:

Thank you for helping protect yourself, your colleagues, and the broader UCSF community.

Joshua Adler, MD
Chief Clinical Officer, UCSF Health

Robert Kosnik, MD
Director, UCSF Occupational Health

Chaitali Mukherjee, MD, MPH
Executive Medical Director
Student Health & Counseling

Brian Groves
Director, International Students & Scholars Office