The novel coronavirus or 2019-nCov has been making headlines recently with cases in different parts of the world. Apart from its place of origin, Wuhan, China, countries with confirmed cases include Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and others. There are also detected cases in North America, Europe, and Australia.
The Basics of Coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can infect people like the common cold. In the previous years, there were two more severe diseases caused by the coronavirus: severe acute respiratory diseases (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Novel Coronavirus: What We Know So Far
A new or novel coronavirus has not been previously identified in humans before its outbreak in Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak had some connection to a large seafood and animal market, which suggests transmission from animal to person.
However, a rising number of nCoV patients had no exposure to such markets, which indicates transmission from one person to another. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nCoV can be transmitted to another person, usually after a close contact with an infected patient.
Take Note: CDC says much is unknown about the transmission of nCoV. The European Centre for Diseases and Control (ECDC) also notes that more information is needed to evaluate the full extent of human-to-human transmission. There is also ongoing investigations and research about the novel coronavirus.
For further information about the 2019-nCoV, the Government of Singapore has provided resources, including videos and Infographics.
Symptoms of nCoV
CDC believes that the symptoms of nCoV appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Also, patients with reported illnesses have little to no symptoms, which can include:
- Shortness of breath
It is suggested that people who have been in China and develop the symptoms should call their healthcare provider.
Currently, there is no vaccine for the 2019-nCoV. Here are some basic preventative measures against the infection from the WHO and CDC.
- Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available or if your hands are not visibly dirty, use an alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Dispose of the tissue in the trash, then wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth) with dirty or unwashed hands.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using wipes or cleaning spray.
- Both WHO and CDC do not recommend wearing a mask if you are healthy and well. You only need to wear one if you are coughing/sneezing, or if you’re a health worker and caring for someone at home or in a healthcare facility.
Take Note: Be careful where you get your information about nCoV. Good sources of information include the WHO and CDC, which have an FAQ page about the novel coronavirus.
Recently, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered a sensible message amidst the nCoV situation. He says there is no reason to panic as the country has advanced capabilities to deal with the situation than the time of SARS outbreak.
He reminds the people: “Let us stay united and resolute in this new coronavirus outbreak. Take sensible precautions. Help one another. Stay calm, and carry on with our lives.”
What Cutis Medical Laser Clinics is Doing
As the 2019-nCoV (Wuhan virus) spreads around the world, our clinic has also been putting measures to keep you (patients) safe. These include:
- All staff are doing daily temperature checks.
- All staff are wearing masks which are discarded after daily use.
- All staff are advised on appropriate hand washing procedures.
- Clinic surfaces are wiped with 70% alcohol every two hours.
- Treatment rooms and chairs are wiped with 70% after every patient.
- Floors are cleaned with disinfectant on a daily basis.
- All patients are questioned on their health status and travel history when confirming the appointment.
- All patients are questioned on their health status (including temperature checks) and travel history again during clinic visit.
- Limiting the waiting time of patients outside the treatment room so as to minimize exposure to other patients.
In addition, the Scotts Medical Center (location of Cutis Laser Clinics) has set up a Temperature measurement and declaration form station at the entrance as an effort to keep patients and employees safe.