Wuhan Coronavirus

Wuhan Coronavirus

Wuhan Coronavirus

There is widespread media coverage at the moment of an illness caused by a virus being referred to as Wuhan coronavirus.  Here is some further information.

Background

In December 2019 the World Health Organisation (WHO) in China was informed of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan city of unknown causes.  The cause was later found to be a new type of the virus coronavirus.   While this disease is centred in Wuhan, China, further cases have now been reported in Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the USA.  Fatalities have occurred   While efforts to contain the illness to Wuhan are ongoing, it is likely that further global spread of this illness will occur.  There is evidence of human to human transmission of this virus but investigation into this is ongoing.  It seems to spread between humans through coughing and sneezing.  Coronavirus infection in humans typically leads to respiratory tract infections such as a cold.

There have been no reported cases of this illness in Ireland.

Advice for Members of the Public

The following advice from the WHO can help to reduce transmission of  a wide range of illnesses including Wuhan coronavirus

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

In addition, it is good health advice to avail of existing vaccines against illnesses such as influenza and pneumococcal disease.  If you are concerned that you may be affected and have symptoms please phone your GP or local hospital for advice.

 

Further Information on Wuhan Coronavirus

Please see the following websites

World Health Organisation www.who.ie

Health Protection Surveillance Centre www.hpsc.ie

We will update this post as further information becomes available.

 

 

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