The World Health Organization (WHO) shared yesterday that the coronavirus outbreak, the first deadly outbreak of 2020 which started from China and spread to more than two dozen countries doesn’t represent a “pandemic”.
Sylvie Briand is the head chair of the World Health Organization’s Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness division. She says;
“Currently we are not in a pandemic, we are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci.”
So far, the coronavirus outbreak has taken more than 425 people and infected nearly 20,000 more only in China. Most of them were reported in central Hubei, Wuhan. From December till this date, coronavirus has spread to more than 20 different countries of the world through travelers.
Briand further shared that the spread is highest in Hubei, which is majorly caused by the human to human transmission. She says;
“In these other places in China, the strategy currently is to stop transmission. “We would like to make sure that we don’t have a second Hubei type of scenario”.
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Chinese health officials are taking drastic measures to control this transmission and all countries where it has spread are also all set to deal with more cases of coronavirus if any. Brained also told that self precautions like “face mask” help but they don’t provide complete protection, saying;
“Countries are implementing early case detection, early isolation and treatment of patients, contact tracing to make sure they identify very early contacts that become symptomatic. We hope that based on … measures in Hubei but also in other places where we have had spillover, we can stop transmission and get rid of this virus.”
This new virus appeared first like pneumonia and controlling it is a real-time challenge for Chinese health officials. WHO says it is not easy but it is definitely not impossible. Coronavirus spreads like from droplets from sneeze, cough, surfaces and physical contact with people who are infected with the coronavirus.
It is still not clear how much time this virus takes to adhere to a surface. Knowing it would help to understand its transmission and hence a control strategy. She says that,
“To stop transmission of this virus, it is very important that sick people wear masks to avoid infecting others”.
The use of masks in public is helpful but it is not complete protection from coronavirus outbreak. However, a combination of all precautions such as frequently washing hands, mask, avoiding public interaction altogether might help to reduce the spread.
she also says that people wearing masks only but not following any other precaution like using a disinfectant and wash their hands properly wouldn’t be a help.
“Masks alone are not enough. It is a package of measures that you have to put in place. If people use the entire package, it is fine. If they just use masks, I think it is not enough,” she further adds.
Overall, the control of coronavirus can only be made possible by following CDC recommendations. It would take some time for the researchers to develop medicine or vaccine against it. Till then, it’s better to be safe by following these self-care recommendations and precautions.