ASU student stuck in Honduras as coronavirus pandemic continues

An Arizona State University student is stranded in Honduras, as a result of a border closure due to the coronavirus.

Shannon Cooley went to Honduras to compete in a football tournament, as part of an event for Team USA, before it was all shut down. Now, Cooley and her team are stuck in the Central American country.

It began with a competition against four different countries.

"It was going great until we were stuck in a situation where we can’t get out of coronavirus," said Cooley.

The tournament was cut short when Honduran leaders announced there would be no more public events. The team wasn’t allowed to compete in the championships, but they were dubbed the winners.

Now, they are all in the hotel and not allowed to leave. Their coach, however, is keeping them busy.

"We run drills. Football drills," said Stephanie Balaochko. "We watch film. We are doing a lot to take everyone’s mind of it.” 

Now, they say their goal is getting home. They have been in contact with all of their local congressmen and congresswomen, and they are hopeful.

Cooley and Balaochko say the closures happened fast, especially because there were so few coronavirus cases in Honduras. When travel deemed non-essential was shut down, that’s when they knew they were stuck. They are, however, in good spirits.

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COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

Additional resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html (In Spanish/En Español)

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars

https://www.azdhs.gov/coronavirus

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