24 Feb The COVID-19 Epidemic
The coronaviruses are pathogens that can cause upper respiratory tract infections in both children and adults. These viruses usually come from animals. Once transmitted to a human, they can spread person-to-person via respiratory droplets. These viruses were responsible for the SARS epidemic over a decade ago.
The ongoing epidemic, which started in Wuhan, China, is due to a coronavirus. This particular coronavirus causes an upper respiratory tract infection that can progress to severe pneumonia. As of February 2020, over 70,000 cases have been confirmed with over 1,700 deaths. These numbers have already dwarfed the numbers from the SARS epidemic. Currently, the majority of cases are in China. However, cases have been confirmed in over 25 countries, including the USA.
Travel recommendations from the CDC:
- China: Avoid all nonessential travel
- Japan & South Korea: Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel
- Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore: the exent of virus spread is not widespread enough to meet the crieteria for a travel notice.
Recommendations from the World Health Organization:
- Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
- Frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
- Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals.
- People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
- Within health care facilities, enhance standard infection prevention and control practices in hospitals, especially in emergency departments.
There are no specific recommended health measures for travellers. In case of symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel, travellers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider.
If you have concerns about your health, contact Continuum Internal Medicine by calling 817.617.8650 or schedule an appointment online at internal medicine.continuumtx.com