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Vanderbilt student says he got COVID-19 on trip to Spain, is quarantined in his NY hometown

The student is undergoing treatment in their hometown. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Vanderbilt University's campus.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On Thursday, Vanderbilt University announced that a student studying abroad, away from campus, tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. He has not returned to Nashville.

21-year-old Maxwell Schulman told WSMV in Nashville that he had visited friends in Barcelona over spring break.

“We had two friends who were coming on the trip that decided to cancel because they were scared about coronavirus. We all made jokes about it, we thought they were idiots. Uh, so it turns out we were the idiots,” says Schulman.

Max says besides some hand sanitizer, he didn't take precautions. 

By the time he went to leave Spain, his condition changed.

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“Saturday when I flew back, I was feeling a little sick on the plane, I didn’t think too much of it. A little feverish but like again I was thinking this probably isn’t anything, like this could be any number of causes. And then I get back, I have like a 102 fever, I’m asleep for a while and my Dad’s like you should probably go the hospital, so I go,” he said.

After his diagnosis, Schulman is quarantined as his parents' home in New York for two weeks.

“So I’ve had an on and off fever for a while, um it gets worse at night, better in the morning, better with ibuprofen obviously. Um, I don’t have one right now, might come back,” he said.

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Vanderbilt has canceled classes this week and said all in-person classes would be suspended until at least March 30. The policy may extend until the end of the semester.

There are at least 4 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Tennessee, all in Middle and West Tennessee.

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A Middle Tennessee man was the first in Tennessee to test positive for the virus on Thursday. He had very mild symptoms and is isolated at home, Tennessee health officials said during a press conference.

COVID-19 was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China in the Hubei Province. The first recorded infections were linked to a wet market in Wuhan that sold both live and dead animals.

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Since then, the virus has spread person-to-person.  

Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have symptoms typical of a cold such as a fever, cough and shortness of breath. About 80% of reported infections have been mild to moderate and did not require hospitalization. A smaller number of patients have severe symptoms requiring hospitalization. 

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COVID-19 is not currently widespread in the United States, so no additional precautions are recommended for the general public beyond normal practices to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as the flu.

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