BANGOR — Private high schools in Maine have asked Chinese students to not travel home during the upcoming break amid concerns of a new virus.

The schools’ announcement comes as the World Health Organization declared the new virus an international health emergency Thursday. On Friday, American authorities announced that the U.S. will temporarily bar entry to foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled in China within the last 14 days.

Some of the state’s private schools also called off administrators’ upcoming recruiting trips to China as a precaution, the Bangor Daily News reported.

“There’s a worldwide consensus developing about what to do and what not to do,” said Mel McKay, head of school at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor, where 48 Chinese students are enrolled. “Schools are communicating well with our friends in China, and everybody’s agreeing that now’s a bad time to travel.”

The virus, which is from the coronavirus family, can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. Health officials think it spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads. So far, nearly 10,000 people have been infected globally, according to the World Health Organization.

The schools have consulted with public health agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regarding how to best respond and have communicated with parents of Chinese students, in an effort to discourage temporary travel.

A student at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill was tested for the virus after coming to the high school in mid-January from China, even though he showed no symptoms, the head of the school, Tim Seeley said.

The first case of person-to-person spread of the new virus in the U.S. was reported Thursday in Chicago. The other five U.S. cases are travelers who developed the respiratory illness after returning to the U.S. from China. There has been no confirmed case of the virus in Maine or anywhere else in New England.

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