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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 6,000 people in the mainland.
The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday confirmed the first cases in the Mideast of the new Chinese virus that causes flu-like symptoms, saying doctors now were treating a family that had just come from a city at the epicenter of the outbreak.
The new type of coronavirus first appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December. Its symptoms, including cough and fever and in severe cases pneumonia, are similar to many other illnesses.
The new virus causes flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough and in severe cases pneumonia. It's from the coronavirus family, which includes those that can cause the common cold as well as more serious illnesses such as Sars and Mers.
The viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 6,000 people in the mainland and more than a dozen other countries. China's death toll has passed 100.
The UAE doctors recommend the following to protect yourself from the potentially deadly virus:
What safety precautions must you take while dealing with a patient suffering from the disease?
The patients should be asked to wear a surgical mask as soon as they are identified and be evaluated in a private room with the door closed, ideally, an airborne infection isolation room if available. Healthcare personnel entering the room should use standard precautions, contact precautions, airborne precautions, and use eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield). Immediately notify your healthcare facility's infection control personnel and the local health department.
What safety precautions must you take while travelling to countries with confirmed cases of the virus?
Travellers to Wuhan or any infected area should
· Avoid contact with sick people.
· Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
· Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
· Older travellers and those with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to Wuhan with their healthcare provider.
If infected, what is the first thing that must be done?
If you travelled to Wuhan and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should
· Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
· Avoid contact with others.
· Not travel while sick.
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
What is the treatment?
"Currently there is no specific treatment available for the disease, but supportive therapy and prophylactic treatment may be initiated to prevent complications from respiratory distress," said Dr Salvin George - Specialist Physician (Internal Medicine), Medcare Hospital Al Safa.
He added, "Consult your nearest hospital where they will assess your vital signs and determine the severity of the illness. You may be isolated if there is a strong suspicion of the coronavirus infection. Blood and body fluid samples will be obtained for testing."
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