Quick response important for containing Wuhan virus


In 2003, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, or SARS, sparked a major health crisis in a number of countries around the globe.
While it originated in China, the coronavirus spread quickly to other countries. There were 8,098 cases of SARS registered across the world, which resulted in 774 deaths in 37 countries. The virus overwhelmed some hospitals and medical centers, sparked fear in communities, and led to mass immunizations.
Since 2004, no case of SARS had been recorded — until recently. Now, a new and potentially dangerous coronavirus from China, the Wuhan flu, has spread to other countries.
The virus originated in Wuhan City, located in China’s Hubei Province, which has over 11 million residents.
While officials moved quickly to close down a market believed to be at the epicenter of the recent outbreak, it proved to be too late, with Beijing and Shanghai cities, and Guangdong Province reporting new cases.
The World Health Organization has identified some common signs of infection related to the Wuhan flu. Typical cases include fever, cough, respiratory problems, and shortness of breath. More severe cases could involve pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death.
Health officials have suggested that people wash their hands, cover their mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, and cook meat and eggs as thoroughly as possible. It’s also important to avoid close contact with those showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing.
Up to 26 January, there were 56 deaths and 2,070 confirmed cases in China.
Outside of China, several countries, such as Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, have reported cases of Wuhan flu on their soil.
In Myanmar, one Chinese tourist, who entered Myanmar through the Muse border gate, was found suffering from high temperature and fever recently and quarantined. Local authorities announced that she recovered from a normal fever and showed no signs of Wuhan virus infection.
Like other countries, Myanmar is also taking early precautions.
The Public Health Department has instructed private hospitals to provide information on suspected patients, in real-time. The instructions from the PHD include the method of sending information, symptoms and particulars of the virus, and signs shown by affected patients.
The health authorities have also beefed up surveillance at international airports, sea ports, border crossings, especially the ones with the People’s Republic of China.
The daily Wuhan-Yangon and Wuhan-Mandalay flights run by China Eastern airways have been suspended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Myanmar.
A quick response would be very important to contain any infection, if it is found on our soil.

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