New Coronavirus – Situation  26th January 0800 hrs

Facts

Massive increas in last 24 hrs 2000 infected infected in China, 31 confirmed overseas. 10 countries affected

17 cities have suspended public transport affecting 56 million,

56 dead including a doctor in Wuhan none overseas.

China is suspending all tour groups and the sale of flight and hotel packages for its citizens headed overseas, starting on Monday.

The Portuguese authorities are cooperating with other European countries to reinforce support to national citizens who are in Wuhan, admitting the possibility of removing them.

The US is beginning an operation to evacuate its citizens and diplomats from Wuhan,

67 hospitals have opened special emergency rooms for patients with fevers.

The World Health Organization’s decided on Thursday not to classify the virus as an “international emergency”, partly because of the low number of overseas cases; this has surprised some experts.

UK, 2,000 travellers who have arrived recently from Wuhan are being sought. Fourteen people tested negative for the virus. 31 tested all negative.

WHAT IS IT?

It is a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has come from animals, or possibly seafood. No know vaccine. More details about the Virus from Public Health England here     

SYMPTOMS

The virus causes pneumonia. Coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. Antiviral drugs only lessen the severity of symptoms. Spread through inhalation person to person.

Precautions on how to protect yourself from the virus while travelling:

  • Avoid contact with people who display symptoms similar to those of pneumonia or the common cold, like coughing or a runny nose.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when possible.
  • Avoid animals and animal markets.

PORTUGAL

Director Health Portugal said that “there are no suspicious cases in Portugal” of infections with the coronavirus, there is no alarm situation, but as a precaution she is “paying more attention” to cases exported outside China.

In Portugal, DGS activated protocols established for this type of situation reinforcing the National Health Service with the Health 24 line, through the number 800 242 424, and the medical support line, for screening..

“DGS, with their partners have contingency plans that are regularly tested, to detect, diagnose and treat

 

TRAVEL ADVICE

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province. If you are in this area and able to leave, you should do so.

 

COMPARISON WITH SARS

The first case is thought to have been reported on Nov. 16, 2002.

Health officials didn’t know what it was, and SARS was categorized by its symptoms, which were similar to pneumonia.

Took 4 months for it to be reported to the WHO on Feb. 14, 2003, when there were already more than 300 cases. Chinese officials were not sure what caused the illness. In 5 weeks there were cases in 13 countries and 10 deaths. Overall 8442 infected at 916 deaths mortality over 10%

Looking back at SARS, the fatality rate for SARS varied by age, “less than 1 % aged 24 years or younger, 6 % in persons aged 25 to 44 years, 15 % aged 45 to 64 years, and greater than 50 %s aged 65 years and older,”

So far, the deaths from 2019-nCoV have mostly been in older people many with existing health conditions

PORTUGAL WAS ONE OF the few countries in Europe with NO cases.

The healthcare system and hospitals are far better prepared today, with improved surveillance systems, medication and equipment [including masks] stockpiles, and a state-of-the-art 330-bed facility in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases that was built precisely to avoid a repeat of the SARS debacle,” he said.

In the past 100 years we have had four major flu virus mutations that have given rise to major pandemics. The first, the Spanish flu, during the Great War, was the deadliest in history: at least 50 million people died. It was extremely aggressive, unlike what happened 90 years later with H1N1, in 2009. We still don’t know the mortality rate of this new virus, but in SARS it was extremely high: 10%. The flu we have every year is around 1%. Last winter we will have had more than a million people with the flu and around 3,000 died.


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