THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - A Louisiana university has canceled a student trip to China in May because of the deadly outbreak of a new virus there.
The canceled 10-day trip to China is an annual event for the College of Business Administration, Nicholls State University spokesman Jacob Batte said in an email late Thursday.
He said in a news release Wednesday that the university is barring all travel to China for university academic or business purposes because the State Department is advising Americans not to visit the country.
The China study trip, led by computer information systems professor En Mao, takes students to businesses in Beijing, Shanghai and a third city for a research project. This year, Batte said, the third city was to be Guangzhou. He said the university has refunded payments from the six students who had signed up so far.
All three cities are 520 to 660 miles (840 to 1,060 kilometers) from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak which has sickened more than 31,000 people and killed more than 600. Virtually all patients have been in China.
The new virus is a member of the coronavirus family and a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past. It causes fever, cough, shortness of breath and, in severe cases, pneumonia.