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Coronavirus: Govt cautions Ugandans traveling to China

By Cecilia Okoth

Added 22nd January 2020 08:44 PM

Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome.

Coronavirus: Govt cautions Ugandans traveling to China

Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome.

Chinese medics trying to isolate a patient. AFP PHOTO

Ugandans traveling to China should take extra precaution, following an outbreak of a new type of coronavirus known to cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

According to Dr. Charles Olaro, the acting Director General Health Services at the Ministry of Health, the national task force on surveillance mechanism is set to discuss measures to ensure that Ugandans safe guard against the virus.

He, however, observed that the surveillance teams are on alert at Entebbe Airport and are at the same time following what is happening in China.

A large number of Ugandans travel to China for business.

Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome.  

On 31 December 2019, a cluster of pneumonia of unknown etiology was reported in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

On 9 January, Chinese authorities said the cause of this viral pneumonia was initially identified as a new type of coronavirus, which is different from any other human coronaviruses discovered so far.

The clinical signs and symptoms of the patients reported in this cluster are mainly fever, with a few patients having difficulty in breathing, and chest radiographs showing bilateral lung infiltrates.

Precautions

While the cause of the pneumonia seems to be a novel coronavirus, transmission potential and modes of transmission remain unclear. Therefore, it would be prudent to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while traveling in or from affected areas (currently Wuhan City) by avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections; according to WHO.

Other precautionary measures include; frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment and avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals.

Travelers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection have been also advised to practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).

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