Case in point: Nearly half of 70 University of Texas students from the main campus in Austin have tested positive for the virus since returning from a spring break vacation in Mexico, which has yet to become a declared ‘hotspot’ for the disease.
According to local NBC affiliate KXAN, as of this writing, 28 of 70 students have tested positive for COVID-19:
Austin Public Health is investigating a large group of people with a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases returning from a Spring Break trip to Mexico, the agency said Tuesday.
Agency officials said that about 10 days beforehand, the group consisting of about 70 adults in their early 20s left for a trip to Cabo San Lucas south of the border. And while 28 of the group have tested positive for COVID-19, health officials are currently testing the rest of them to see who else might be infected.
“The virus often hides in the healthy and is given to those who are at grave risk of being hospitalized and dying,” said interim APH Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott to the NBC affiliate’s news team.
“While younger people have less risk for complications, they are not immune from severe illness and death from COVID-19,” he added.
All 28 of those who have tested positive so far are self-isolating, health officials told the news team. At the same time, others who took the Cabo trip are currently in quarantine and are being monitored for signs of the illness.
“The incident is a reminder of the vital importance of taking seriously the warnings of public health authorities on the risks of becoming infected with COVID-19 and spreading it to others,” University of Texas spokesperson JB Bird told the news team in a statement.
But here’s where it gets interesting: At the time of the trip, Mexico was not under a federal travel advisory. And even now, at this writing, Mexico only officially has around 1,100 cases of the virus, though the infection rate is climbing.
So we have to wonder: Just how long has this bug been around? And how virulent is it, really?
New York City provides another case in point: Why has this city become the epicenter for the virus in the United States, with slightly less than half of all cases (~76,000 as of this writing)?
Perhaps because New York City is really an international hub. And perhaps because it looks increasingly likely that the bug was brought there by multiple sources, not just people from China. (Related: Italian government could lose grip on southern regions as coronavirus WREAKS HAVOC on supply lines, distribution of aid.)
That would explain why coronavirus is cropping up all over the place so quickly.
There’s also another angle to explore.
Chinese students study all over the country, including the University of Texas. But also, Chinese businessmen came to the United States all the time, as did Chinese tourists before President Donald Trump implemented a travel ban.
If the Communist government hid the existence of coronavirus for months longer than they have officially acknowledged the bug existed, then it’s increasingly likely we’re going to see one explosive cluster of cases after another.
Such as in Mexico.
It’s possible that the UT students brought COVID-19 with them, of course, which means that they’ve just spread it to another country as well. But we can’t discount the possibility that the virus was already there, waiting for them.
Either way, we should all probably settle in for a prolonged outbreak because it doesn’t look like it’s going to abate anytime soon.