The World Health Organization offered advice that included 10 tips for protecting against catching and spreading the virus.
The recommendations – 10 of them – come after the organization raised its global risk assessment of the coronavirus to its highest level. While still not considered a pandemic, roughly a dozen countries have reported their first cases of the virus over the past few days.
Over 83,000 people across the world have the virus, though the vast majority of cases are still in China. More than 2,800 people have died from the disease it causes, COVID-19.
“We do not see evidence yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, said at a press conference on Friday. “As long as that’s the case, we still have a chance of containing this virus, if robust action is taken to detect cases early, isolate and care for patients and trace contacts.”
Here are 10 basic things WHO would like people to know about the outbreak:
1. People should wash their hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with an alcohol-based solution.
2.Disinfect surfaces like kitchens and work desks regularly.
3. Seek information on the situation from reliable sources, like a local or national public health agency, WHO or a local health care professional.
4. Anyone with a fever or cough should avoid traveling. If sickness starts while on a flight, inform the crew immediately.
5. Cough or sneeze into a sleeve or tissue. Throw the tissue away and wash hands.
6. People over the age of 60, or anyone with an underlying health condition, have a higher risk of contracting a severe case of the disease. Those people might need to take extra precautions to avoid crowded places and sick people.
7. If someone feels sick, they should stay home and contact a doctor or local health professional about the symptoms. Symptoms of the coronavirus typically include a fever and dry cough without a runny nose.
8. If a sick person does stay at home, they should eat and sleep separately from anyone else in the household. They should also use different utensils to eat.
9. A person should seek care immediately if they develop shortness of breath.
10. WHO said it is “normal and understandable to feel anxious, especially if you live in a country or community that has been affected.” People should find out what they can do in their communities and discuss how to stay safe with people in their workplace, school or place of worship.
WHO Raises Global Risk from Coronavirus to ‘Very High’
On Friday, The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment from the coronavirus from “high” to “very high.”
“The continued increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, and the number of affected countries over the last few days, are clearly of concern,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, said at a press conference on Friday.
Health officials have reported over 83,000 cases of the virus and nearly 2,900 deaths.
Several countries have confirmed their first cases of the virus over the past day, and all have links to Italy, according to WHO.
Nigeria has reported the first coronavirus case in sub-Saharan Africa, an Italian man who traveled to Lagos after a trip to Milan on Feb. 25. The case raises concerns that limited resources and stressed health systems in the region might not be able to handle a large outbreak of the virus.
Italy has over 600 cases of the virus and 17 deaths.
Despite the global risk assessment being raised to the same level as China, Tedros said there is still a chance for containment.
“We don’t see evidence yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities,” he said.
WHO has held off on declaring the virus a pandemic.
Tedros said that drug treatment trials are underway and to expect results in a few weeks. He added that more than 20 vaccines are in development. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2020-02-28/who-global-risk-from-coronavirus-very-high)