The 2019-nCoV is spreading from humans to humans.
By international definition, a 2019-nCoV infected person may be considered suspicious of having the virus if:
- An individual develops an acute/severe respiratory infection following a visit to China 14 days before having any symptoms and that requires hospitalization.
- An individual shows a respiratory infection:
a. after being in contact with a person infected with the 2019-nCoV virus.
b. If he/she works in a medical facility treating patients confirmed of having 2019-nCoV.
The DVG is monitoring the situation closely. According to the WHO, there are 40.484 reported cases of infected persons and 910 fatalities due to complications. The fatality cases represent 2.3% of the total reported cases of infected persons. The fatality ratio is very low according to the WHO, meaning that the virus is not so deadly compared to the yearly influenza virus that is responsible for thousands of yearly fatalities or the SARS, MERS, and EBOLA which caused many fatalities during their outbreak.
Aruba has no reported or confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV and is monitoring all entry ports strictly; the Airport and Cruise-ship ports have international protocols in place that are defined by international organizations like WHO-PAHO-CDC-RIVM-ECDC.
Global experts and organizations are researching the virus’ characteristics to find a cure as soon as possible. The virus spreads from humans to humans either by direct contact with an infected person or by pathogens in the air or on a surface after a sneeze or cough by infected individuals.
The best protection against the 2019-nCoV virus is:
- Avoid direct contact with individuals who have a respiratory infection.
- Frequent hand-washing with soap and water or the use of hand sanitizers before meals, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth since these are the virus’ entrance to the body.
- Individuals who have symptoms of respiratory illnesses like flu or cold should avoid being in public and to stay home and protect others. Individuals with respiratory illness should cough and sneeze in their elbow or tissue, and properly wash hands after each time.
- Any individual who develops an acute/severe respiratory infection following a visit to China 14 days before having any symptoms should contact their physician preferably by phone and provide their travel history.
The WHO indicated that most cases of fatalities reported have been of elderly persons with existing medical conditions like diabetes, cancer or heart disease.
For any information about the 2019-nCoV virus, please contact the Department of Contagious Diseases at 5224224/5224236/5224237/5224261/5224264 or contact the Department of Epidemiology and Research at 5224285.