The WHO has declared the novel coronavirus a global health emergency.
Update (Original Publication date Jan. 28, Updated Feb. 12): WHO Chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared the coronavirus a global health emergency. He said the decision was reached not because of the situation in China, but because of, “what is happening in other countries.”
On Feb. 12 the number of infections totaled around 42,000 in China and around 400 globally based on data of the WHO. Of the approximately 1,000 that have died, all have been in China – with one exception.
2019-nCoV – is the official shorthand name of the novel corona virus, which was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Dec. 31, 2019, and is currently spreading worldwide. On Feb. 11, a team of WHO-experts declared an official name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19 — making sure not to reference Wuhan. COVID-19 stands for Corona Virus Disease 19.
Another fact: The China Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention identified recently that a DNA sample collected from the door handle at the home of a novel coronavirus patient tested positive for the disease.
Weeks ago the World Health Organization (WHO) – increased its global risk assessment of the coronavirus to “high,” while the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany still classified the risk in Germany as “low”, despite the first cases being confirmed in Munich.
The RKI now says that single corona viruses are likely to continue to emerge in Germany, but that risk to the general public is still relatively low. The organization warned, that this assessment could change quickly.
Transmission and symptoms
According to current scientific knowledge, the virus only attacks the lungs. This means that it is mainly transmitted via infected droplets. According to the WHO, the currently known symptoms of infection include breathing difficulties, fever, or shortness of breath, which can occur as early as the second day after infection. In more severe cases, which are believed to mainly affect people with a serious underlying disease, patients can suffer from pneumonia or kidney failure.
In order to effectively protect oneself from coronavirus, one should apply the usual infection protection measures for droplet infections. A crucial component of this is thorough hand hygiene. Hand sanitizers used should at least have limited virucidal efficacy.Dr. med. Andreas Glöckner, Medical Director
Based on previous findings, the virus has a so-called basic infection rate of about 2.5. This figure indicates the average number of people infected by a person who is already ill. By comparison, the rate for measles is between 15-18 and 5-7 for polio, and the figures show that 2019-nCoV is at the lower end of the range, roughly on par with the influenza virus, which has a baseline of infection rate of 2-3.
How should one act in concrete terms?
The RKI’s recommendations for medical institutions are initially based on the procedure for the prevention of respiratory infections. This includes, among other things, the wearing of multi-layer mouth and nose masks by the patient, and restriction in an isolation room, if possible with an airlock. In addition, consistent adherence to the usual basic hygiene measures, which includes hygienic hand disinfection, is considered an important component. The alcohol-based hand rubs products used should have a limited virucidal, limited virucidal PLUS or virucidal effect.
Regardless of suspected or confirmed cases of infection, regular and careful hand hygiene can help protect against the spread of the spread of infection.
OPHARDT Hygiene recommends using similar steps to influenza season preparation to combat the novel coronavirus. Hygiene stations that enable hygiene in public areas are a perfect tool to help stop the spread of infections. This alongside, regular hand washing can help reduce the risk of illness.
The recommended product to help fight the spread of viruses like the 2019-nCoV is the touchless PRAESIDIO hand sanitizer dispenser. The eye-catching, stainless steel design is made to attract users in both healthcare and public spaces.