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60 college students caught COVID-19 on a spring break trip to Mexico

A group of friends on the beach.
(Image: © Shutterstock)

Dozens of college students from Austin contracted COVID-19 after a spring-break trip to Mexico, according to a new report.

Officials first learned of the outbreak in late March when three students at the University of Texas at Austin developed symptoms including cough, sore throat and shortness of breath, and tested positive for COVID-19. 

All three students said they had been part of a large spring-break trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, which took place from March 14 to 19, according to the report, published today (June 24) in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Through contact tracing, officials identified and interviewed nearly 300 people who were either part of the trip or had contact with travelers. Of these, 231 were tested for COVID-19, including 183 travelers, 13 household contacts and 35 community contacts.

Overall, 64 people tested positive, including 60 of the spring-break travelers, three community contacts and one household contact. Of these, 78% had symptoms — including cough, sore throat, headache, loss of sense of smell or taste and fever — and 22% were asymptomatic at the time they were tested. No hospitalizations or deaths occurred.

Many of the spring breakers reported sharing housing with other students in both Mexico and on their return to Austin, which likely contributed to the spread of the illness through exposure and reexposure to the virus, the authors said. Indeed, such shared housing, which is common among college students "might lead to propagated spread, similar to the continued person-to-person transmission observed in long-term care facilities," they wrote.

The report shows that "contact tracing and testing of all contacts, including those who are asymptomatic, is important in controlling future COVID-19 outbreaks that might occur as schools and universities consider reopening," the authors concluded.

Originally published on Live Science. 

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  • biochemguy
    My guess is not too many of these "students" got A's in virology. :rolleyes:
    Reply
  • Quantum
    admin said:
    About one-fifth of students who tested positive were asymptomatic at the time of the test.

    60 college students caught COVID-19 on a spring break trip to Mexico : Read more
    The way the article is written tends to provoke hysteria. So what? The virus has been spread to college students who are relatively unaffected. The virus is not that harmful to young people. They could have gotten the flu, or a cold from others. We are all going to get that virus. You cannot escape it. We have seen that people under 65 with no substantial underlying conditions are not that much in danger. Just contracting the virus is not meaningful. The issue is whether the virus causes you great harm. The virus was all over California from October 2019 to March 2020 before all people were quarantined. Not much harm occurred. Many people were infected with Covid19. Not much harm occurred. So let's stop the politically motivated hysteria. Unfortunately, "science" has been infected with politics. Maybe we should call this "political science."
    Reply
  • jbundy48
    This main issue isn't the effects on these students. However, they have families, including elderly relatives and friends. There's the danger.
    Reply
  • biochemguy
    New cases in California up 40% in last 24 hours....no problem....no harm....a 29 percent increase in hospitalizations over the last 14-day period ...no problem...healthcare costs skyrocketing...no problem. I see what you mean!
    06/24/20 California reports 7,149 new cases in 24 hours! New record! NO PROBLEM!
    Reply
  • Quantum
    Hi Biochem guy, perhaps you should study this further. Again, your data and report is more "political science" than science. A large fraction of Californians already have contracted the virus, without major difficulty. As we test more people, we find more cases. Why? Because the virus has been here since October 2019. You test more, you get more cases. This does not mean new cases. It means that you have located more cases, existing cases. This just shows the political nature of the reporting. Some bad people are trying to scare you and frighten you, to prevent you from opening up the economy. Do not be fooled by CNN and others who want the economy to go into recession. In Sweden they had no quarantine or any other special activities, and they are doing as well as those who quarantined. Wake up. Certain "political scientists" are masquerading as scientists. And to jbundy48, those who are vulnerable, such as old folks with pre-existing serious conditions, should quarantine from others. The danger has been over-blown by ruthless politicians. All you have to fear is fear itself. You are being manipulated by fear and uncertainty. Such fear makes you vulnerable to manipulation and authoritarian control.
    Reply
  • Ron9791
    I'm curious if they flew or drove. either is a lot of time together for spreading, being outdoors is not really an issue its the time they spend in close quartrs with little air movement
    Reply
  • jbundy48
    jbundy48 said:
    This main issue isn't the effects on these students. However, they have families, including elderly relatives and friends. There's the danger.
    Quantum said:
    Hi Biochem guy, perhaps you should study this further. Again, your data and report is more "political science" than science. A large fraction of Californians already have contracted the virus, without major difficulty. As we test more people, we find more cases. Why? Because the virus has been here since October 2019. You test more, you get more cases. This does not mean new cases. It means that you have located more cases, existing cases. This just shows the political nature of the reporting. Some bad people are trying to scare you and frighten you, to prevent you from opening up the economy. Do not be fooled by CNN and others who want the economy to go into recession. In Sweden they had no quarantine or any other special activities, and they are doing as well as those who quarantined. Wake up. Certain "political scientists" are masquerading as scientists. And to jbundy48, those who are vulnerable, such as old folks with pre-existing serious conditions, should quarantine from others. The danger has been over-blown by ruthless politicians. All you have to fear is fear itself. You are being manipulated by fear and uncertainty. Such fear makes you vulnerable to manipulation and authoritarian control.
    So, older Americans and those with preexisting health conditions get to live in isolation for the foreseeable future in order that you can wander around spraying your droplets. Of course, you aren't thinking about the young people being permanently damaged when covid19 eventually damages their internal organs. Dialysis machines are being overwhelmed by those newly losing kidney function.
    Reply