Travel (Health) Advisory: Coronavirus Update 01

Situation

This is an update on the ongoing outbreak of pneumonia first identified in Wuhan, China, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.


There is evidence that person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s still unclear how easily the virus spreads between people. Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus. Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of cases in the city of Wuhan and severe illness has been reported, including deaths. Cases have also been identified in travellers from Wuhan to other parts of China and other countries.

The situation is evolving and the authorities in China are working hard to try and contain the spread of this disease. Many characteristics of this novel coronavirus and how it may affect people are still unclear although there are reports that the virus is mutating. Many countries are now screening visitors from China at ports of entry.


Symptoms

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 


Overlanders / Travellers

  • Do not travel while sick

  • Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available:

o Before eating and after using the toilet

o After returning home

o Touching garbage

o Contact with animals or animal waste

  • Avoid close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals;

  • Travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).

  • If you return from a country infected with the disease feeling sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should stay away from others, call your Doctor and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

General Tips

  • Strengthen immune system – exercise regularly

  • Make sure shared spaces are well ventilated. Avoid enclosed crowded spaces stations, public transport etc.

  • Avoid contact with those that have flu like symptoms

  • Wear masks

Businesses

Should:

  • Suspend travel to Wuhan, and Hubei Province China.

  • Consider suspension of non essential travel to infected countries

  • Review pandemic response plans

  • Implement education and awareness programs for travellers and staff.

  • Provide plenty of alcohol based cleansers / wipes

  • Review home working policies and business continuity plans

  • Review sickness policies and encourage those with flu like symptoms to stay at home.


Useful Links

NaTHNaC

WHO

CDC


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