U student to return from China amid SARS concerns

by Geoffrey Ziezulewicz

The first University student to leave China because of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak is expected back in Minnesota next week, a University official said.

Al Balkcum, Global Campus’ study abroad director, said the student is returning after the provost’s office issued a warning to foreign exchange students to return to the United States as soon as possible.

“Our worry all along is the number of flights available,” Balkcum said. “The longer people wait to leave, the more difficult it could be if things get bad.”

Balkcum said he could not yet confirm the number of students returning or staying.

SARS has infected more than 2,500 people in 19 countries and is responsible for 103 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.