FAIRFIELD, Iowa – One Iowan had his study abroad trip to China cut short due to the coronavirus.
Fairfield resident Hunter Manz was supposed to be in Shanghai in a study abroad program with the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, until the school decided to bring its students back for safety reasons.
Manz said he decided to put himself in quarantine when he got back.
“I called the Iowa Department of Health trying to see if there would be a way to test for it, but they said no, unless I exhibit any symptoms,” Manz said.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati said only people showing symptoms for the virus are being tested at this time.
“Right now the way we are trying to tailor that is by following guidance from the CDC about looking for people who have symptoms since those would be the people who would be more likely to present a risk to others,” Pedati said.
Manz is halfway through his own quarantine and checks his temperature twice a day.
“I don’t know who I could of come in contact with while I was on the plane, while I was in Shanghai. Anything could have happened, so I just feel for everyone’s safety I should just kind of stay in the quarantine, but it wasn’t asked,” Manz said.
Manz flew from Shanghai to Hong Kong and then to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Once in Chicago, he drove the rest of the way to Fairfield.
“The only thing that really I thought that showed that they were stepping up their security was just little basic health questions on a screen. Not really even a person. It was just a little touch screen. Are you sick? Did you come into contact with any livestock? Did you go to Wuhan? Which is probably as much as China is doing, but I thought based on everything that was going on that there would at least be someone there to take your temperature,” Manz said.
As of Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Health is monitoring ten people in the state who don’t show symptoms. Two people are waiting to hear their results from the CDC.