Novel Coronavirus Update

On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a global health emergency and the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory recommending Americans not travel to China because of the public health threat posed by the coronavirus. As of Friday, January 31, three cases of coronavirus and 32 individuals under quarantine have been reported in Vietnam. Links to the WHO website, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, the State Department travel advisory, and a recent Vietnam news report are included below. Both the WHO and CDC websites will be updated regularly.

Also, excerpted from the WHO website is advice for the public, essentially practicing good hygiene and washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently. There Is currently no WHO recommendation to wear masks.  While it will not protect you from 2019-nCoV, if you have not already gotten your flu shot this year, you may want to do so now.

WHO Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) advice for the public

WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.