Friday, June 05, 2020

Iligan CHO’s Update on 2019-nCoV

(Wednesday5th day of February 2020)

 

Iligan City – The city’s status is still negative on the novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV as confirmed by Dr. Cherlina Canaveral, City Health Officer of Iligan who joined the flag-raising ceremony at the Anahaw Amphitheatre on Feb 3.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans. Some infect people and are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The new, or “novel” coronavirus, now called 2019-nCoV, had not previously detected before the outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

As with other respiratory illnesses, infection with 2019-nCoV can cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses)

Stay aware of the latest information on the outbreak, and take care of your health by doing the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • Maintain social distancing – maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Tell your health care provider if you have traveled in an area in China where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has traveled from China and has respiratory symptoms.
  • If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible.

In addition to the basic information and the coronavirus health tips given by the City Health Office, Dr. Canaveral asks the public to stay calm and stop panic buying of face masks because there are people: sick and working in the medical field who needs it more than the average person and that they might not be able to get their hands on any face mask when they need it most. As the World Health Organization (WHO) tells us, wearing a medical mask can help limit the spread of some respiratory disease. However, using a mask alone is not guaranteed to stop infections and should be combined with other prevention measures including hand and respiratory hygiene and avoiding close contact – at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people.

WHO advises on the rational use of medical masks thus avoiding unnecessary wastage of precious resources and potential misuse of masks. This means using masks only if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing), have suspected 2019-nCoV infection with mild symptoms or are caring for someone with the suspected 2019-nCoV infection. A suspected 2019-nCoV infection is linked to travel in an area in China where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or close contact with someone who has traveled from China and has respiratory symptoms.

“What’s important right now is to avoid unnecessary excursions to crowded places, eat healthily, and always wash hands whenever you can with soap and water, and if soap and water are not accessible, always use alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer,” Dr. Canaveral stated on her speech. “Do not panic, stay calm, but be vigilant,” she added.

 

– Kristoff S. /CIO-Web

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