Pepperdine students studying in Shanghai ordered to return to US amid coronavirus concerns

A group of Pepperdine University students studying in China are being told to return to the United States, as various public health precautions are implemented in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

University officials said they had been monitoring the outbreak since early December, but the semester in Shanghai had already begun.

In addition to the return of those students, the university is also suspending its Shanghai International Program for the spring semester, a decision that was made based on the entire situation, including the spread of the virus and related travel warnings, officials said.

"I am very sad because I just got there and I was planning to stay there until April so it's going to be very different when we get back to Malibu," said Arielle Leviste, an international student.

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The new virus is a cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past. Since December, it's sickened thousands, mostly in China, and killed more than 200.

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