GENEVA 20 January 2020—- World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will convene an Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) under the International Health Regulations (IHR). The Committee will meet on Wednesday, 22 January 2020, in Geneva to ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, and what recommendations should be made to manage it.
What is Coronaviruses ?
According to a document available on World Health Organization (WHO)
“Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”
Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people
According to WHO
“Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.”
First case of Coronaviruses in China
On 31 December 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on 7 January.
On 10 January, WHO published a range of interim guidance for all countries on how they can prepare for this virus, including how to monitor for sick people, test samples, treat patients, control infection in health centres, maintain the right supplies, and communicate with the public about this new virus.
Common signs of Coronaviruses infection
According to WHO
“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.”
Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend any restriction of travel or trade. Countries are encouraged to continue strengthening their preparedness for health emergencies in line with the International Health Regulations (2005).Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend any restriction of travel or trade.
Countries are encouraged to continue strengthening their preparedness for health emergencies in line with the International Health Regulations (2005).