2019 Wuhan Coronavirus – What we know and how to reduce the risk of getting infected?

2019 Wuhan Coronavirus – What we know and how to reduce the risk of getting infected?

What are coronaviruses?
According to the World Health Organization, “Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).”

What is the new 2019 Coronavirus?
A novel Coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China. The possible source is the Seafood City Market which has been closed since Jan 5 and sanitized. The virus can be transmitted among people and is temporarily called 2019-nCoV.

What are the symptoms and possible complications of a Coronavirus infection?
The World Health Organization cites that symptoms of Coronavirus infection are similar to that of common flu (shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat, and fever). Severe cases of the infection can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

What’s the latest status in the Philippines with regards to 2019-nCoV?
According to the Department of Health’s bulletin as of 12NN of February 4, 2020, there are 105 recorded Patients Under Investigation; with 2 confirmed cases; 48 pending cases; and there are 30 cases declared negative.

Global Situation
According to WHO, the total number of confirmed cases globally as of February 4, 2020 is at 17,391. Countries outside China with confirmed cases include: Japan, Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Sweden, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, UK, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, USA, Canada, France, Finlang UAE, Germany, Italy, Russian Federation and Spain.

What can the public do to prevent the spread of the 2019-nCoV?
The spread of 2019-nCoV can be prevented through proper hygiene and etiquette:

  1. Frequently wash your hands with soap and running water or alcohol-based cleansers, even if your hands are not visibly dirty. It is recommended to wash your hands:

    a. After coughing or sneezing
    b. Before and after eating
    c. After toilet use
    d.Before and after meal preparation
    e.After handling animals/ animal waste
    f. After handling meat and poultry
    g. If there is visible dirt
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  
  3. When coughing and sneezing, move away from people and cover your nose and mouth with tissue or flexed elbow. Throw away used tissues properly.
  4. Avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals:
  5. Ensure that food is well-cooked
  6. Maintain a healthy lifestyle to build immunity. Eating nutritious food, take enough rest, exercise regularly, and drink plenty of water.

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