2019-nCoV is making the headlines these days. What is the 2019-nCoV and what are the preventive measures? Up to now, we don’t fully understand the pathogenic potential and transmission dynamics of this new 2019 coronavirus.
What is it?
In a nutshell, it is part of the coronavirus family. It presents “80% of similarities” with the SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) which killed hundreds of people in 2003. This virus does not spread as well as influenza and doesn’t evolve very quickly. The symptoms are the same as most flu cases: fever, cough, muscle aches, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
Last December, the coronavirus appeared in Wuhan, a city in central China. The cities of Wuhan and Huanggang have been quarantined. So far, it has killed 490 people in China and thousands of people have been infected. The virus has also been detected in 23 other countries. In order to limit its spread, measures are being taken in several countries. The WHO (World Health Organization) has declared this virus as an international emergency.
What are the preventive measures?
Brief, here are some preventive measures for 2019-nCoV. As suggested by the WHO, the following are strategies for health care-associated infection prevention and control when a case of nCoV is suspected:
- Early detection and source control
– Encouraging health care workers and managers to have a high level of clinical suspicion
- Application of standard precautions for all patients
– Ensure that respiratory hygiene measures are taken by providing a medical mask in case of suspected nCoV infection for those who can tolerate it
– Cover your nose and mouth by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or bent elbow
– Wash hands after contact with respiratory secretions
– Wear personal protective equipment
– Follow environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures consistently and correctly
- The implementation of empirical additional precautions
– Wear a particulate respirator at least as protective as a NIOSH N95, EU FFP2 certified respirator or equivalent
– Wear eye protection (goggles or face shield)
– Use clean, non-sterile long-sleeved coveralls
– Wear gloves and avoid contact with eyes, nose or mouth with potentially contaminated hands
– Use disposable equipment or dedicated equipment to be disinfected after each use
- Administrative controls
– Ensure sustainable infection prevention and control infrastructure and activities are in place
– Provide training and education to health care workers and patients
- Environmental and technical controls
– Ensure adequate ventilation and proper cleaning of the environment
For more details on 2019-nCoV, see the following sources: