HEALTHPLAN MAGAZINE

CORONAVIRUS: Spain’s Health Ministry Updates Public As Virus Spreads Health News

Spain’s Ministry of Health has updated the public with advice and guidance on the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which to date has killed 17 people and infected over 500.

The bug which can be transmitted from human-to-human was first discovered in a fish and cattle market in Wuhan, China in late December.

Recent reports from doctors in Wuhan claim that in the last two weeks, there has been an alarming rate of spread.

It is now thought to have infected people in other countries with cases being found in U.S, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

In total, there are now five cities in the Hubei Province along with Wuhan which have been placed in lockdown, these are Huanggang, Ezhou, Xiantao and Chibi with trains, buses and air travel suspended.

With the Chinese New Year on the 25 January, millions of citizens will be travelling both domestically and internationally to visit friends and family further increasing the potential spread of the virus.

On Wednesday, the Spanish Health Ministry posted some guidelines on the Coronavirus and the potential impact on Spain and its citizens.

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses that usually affect animals, however some have the ability to be transmitted from animals to humans.

The SARS virus which infected around 9,000 people in 2002, killed 774 across Asia was a strain of Coronavirus.

The current virus which was discovered at the end of December in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China is the strain 2019-nCoV.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

The Coronavirus produces flu-like symptoms including cough, sore throat, fever and shortness of breath. In more severe cases this can lead to Pneumonia, renal failure and death.

Like the flu and similar viruses, those most at risk are the elderley and those with a low immunity.

How can I get the Coronavirus?

Although it is not currently known exactly how infection occurs, it is thought that the main transmission is from infected animals or respiratory secretions from coughing and sneezing generated from an infected person. A person would then be affected if those secretions come into contact with the nose, mouth or eyes.

Is there a treatment for the Coronavirus 2019-nCoV?

There is no current vaccine available, however scientists from a number of countries are currently working around the clock to develop one.

How can I avoid getting infected?

There are no current cases in Spain with airports closely monitoring the situation in order to prevent further spread.

The Spanish Health Ministry advises the following to prevent infection:-

  • Avoid contact with anyone that shows signs of having a respiratory disease such as coughing and sneezing. Try to keep a distance of over one metre.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially after being in contact with a sick person.
  • Cover your nose and mouth if coughing and sneezing to prevent infecting others.
  • No special precautions are required with food and animals.


What if I have travelled to and from Wuhan recently?

If you have recently travelled to Wuhan and within two weeks of your return experience respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever or shortness of breath, you should go to your nearest hospital and seek medical assistance.

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