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CMAAO urges travel advisory on coronavirus

Rohit Shishodia
The Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) has issued an advisory for the mystery Chinese virus that crossed the ocean to Japan. The mystery virus was revealed as Coronavirus.

Dr KK Aggarwal, President, CMAAO, has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to issue a medical advisory for people travelling to this part of Asia.

In the letter to PM Modi Dr Aggarwal has explained the sequence of the spread of the virus in China, Thailand and Japan, Dr Aggarwal said, “There is an international threat of spreading coronavirus in India. India as yet has not issued any travel or medical advisory in this regard. Today, in Malaysia (where I am travelling) I saw all people at immigration wearing the masks. Also, WHO has issued a warning about symptoms of coronavirus.”

As per WHO, it could spread around the globe. Taiwan has listed mysterious Wuhan virus as emerging communicable disease. All CMAAO countries should do the same.

Dr Aggarwal stated that hospitals and other medical institutions should be made to report suspected cases within 24 hours of diagnosis and compulsory quarantine of people with symptoms.

“Suspected cases are defined as people who develop a fever, pneumonia or other respiratory infections within 14 days of a visit to Wuhan. Emerging communicable disease means a disease with a substantial impact on the health of the population through their transmission,” explained Dr Aggarwal.

According to CMAAO, Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

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