So far this disease has claimed the lives of at least 17 people and about 400 cases have been reported in countries such as China, Taiwan and Japan. / A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo.

-Thursday, January 23, 2020-

Alert for China's deadly virus increases precautions in airports

By the A.M. Costa Rica

The Ministry of Health announced Wednesday the activation of an emergency operations center in response to the international alert for a new coronavirus.

This virus that was initially found in China has caused the death of several people there, as well as cases of infected people in the United States, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

So far this disease has claimed the lives of at least 17 people and about 400 cases have been reported in countries such as China, Taiwan and Japan.

Patients infected with these coronaviruses experience various symptoms, including shortness of breath, fever, cough and muscle pain.

In Costa Rica the alert is coordinated by the National Emergency Commission, which will have to execute a response plan in the event of a possible case of infection found in the country.

The special group also includes personnel from the Judicial Investigation Agency, the National Firefighters Institute, the Red Cross, Social Security, the Department of Migration, among other institutions.

The authorities confirmed that no cases of infection with this virus have been reported in Costa Rica.

In the case of the General Directorate of Migration, work will be carried out jointly with the authorities of the border posts and airports to develop sanitary measures to prevent the entry of someone with the virus.

The special process for people returning to the country from any of the countries with confirmed cases of infection or death from the virus will be reported to the Ministry of Health.

In order to determine if infected persons enter the country, immigration workers and the airlines will have the duty to make a report if a person intends to enter the country with some of the symptoms.

If any case occurs, the authorities will determine if the isolation of the traveler is appropriate.

The World Health Organization alert was generated after a new type of coronavirus was detected in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province in China. The virus has caused deaths in China and cases showed up in Thailand, Japan and the United States. Possibly cases are under study in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.

Coronaviruses are a class of viruses that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

The clinical symptoms that occur in affected patients are respiratory problems like a cough or shortness of breath and a fever. Sufferers can have more serious conditions such as pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.

According to the general recommendations of the World Health Organization, it is important for the entire population to reinforce measures for the prevention and control of infectious respiratory diseases that include:

• Frequent hand washing.

• Cook food properly (mainly meat and eggs).

• Avoid close contact with people with symptoms of respiratory diseases.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable towel when there are cough and sneeze.

• In case of symptoms of respiratory disease during or after a trip to China, seek medical attention and share your travel history with the health service.

For those who will soon travel to China and especially Hubei province, avoid approaching people with respiratory symptoms conglomerated places and contact with farm animals.

A.M. Costa Rica urges readers to share this alert with their contacts.

What other recommendation would you give to avoid infection with the virus? 
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