Abu Dhabi: The novel coronavirus endemic is spreading to different countries at an alarming pace. Over 2,700 people worldwide have been affected by the virus and at least 80 have died in China since the virus outbreak in November.
Despite a massive quarantine measures to curb the spread in China, Chinese officials have warned about the continuation of the endemic for a longer period of time.
What is of utmost importance and concern is that affected people without symptoms are able to pass on the virus to others, according to a top Chinese National Health official.
Addressing the global community, the World Health Organization (WHO) under International Health Regulations (2005) issued the following statement:
As this is a new coronavirus, and it has been previously shown that similar coronaviruses required substantial efforts for regular information sharing and research, the global community should continue to demonstrate solidarity and cooperation, in compliance with Article 44 of the IHR (2005), in supporting each other on the identification of the source of this new virus, its full potential for human-to-human transmission, preparedness for potential importation of cases, and research for developing necessary treatment.
According to WHO, the main clinical signs and symptoms reported in this outbreak include fever, difficulty in breathing, and chest radiographs showing bilateral lung infiltrates.
However, due to the newness of the virus, concrete conclusions about the full clinical features of the disease, “intensity of human-to-human transmission” and original source of the outbreak have not been confirmed.
So what can we do to avoid contracting the disease?
You can find a lot of information related to the disease here.
WHO has issued standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses as follows:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately in closed bins and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.