Everything You Need To Know About The New Coronavirus: Oman’s Ministry of Health

26 Jan 2020
POSTED BY Alvin Thomas

Oman’s Ministry of Health (MoH) has issued a Q & A covering queries regarding the new strain of coronavirus that was first reported in China, and has now affected over 2,000 and killed at least 56 people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reveals that this strain of the virus has never been seen before. It’s been called 2019-nCov, or the ‘novel coronavirus’.

What are Coronaviruses?

Coronavirus is a common virus family known to cause a range of diseases ranging from common colds to severe pneumonia.

What is the Novel (new) Coronavirus?

This virus is a new type of Coronavirus that has not previously been found in humans. The new virus [was first found] in the People’s Republic of China and is called 2019-nCoV. Other known types of Coronaviruses include MERS- Coronavirus and SARS-Coronavirus.

What is the current situation of the new Coronavirus (2019- nCOV)?

The first case of this virus was reported on December 31 , 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China. As of January 26, 2020, more than 2,000 cases have been reported in Wuhan city and other cities in China. In addition cases were reported outside China in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Macao, Philippines, and the United States. With 17 deaths recorded in Wuhan City (as of 23rd January).

(Please keep following the updates as it become available). All cases outside China has been infected in China.

Can humans be infected with a new coronavirus from an animal source?

Yes, evidence has shown that the new coronavirus infection is caused by contact with animals infected with the virus.  Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to identify the animal carrier of the new Coronavirus in China.

What are the symptoms of the new (2019-nCoV)?

The most common symptoms include: fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty of breathing. In the most severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Can the new (2019-nCoV) be transmitted from one person to another?

Yes, the transmission of the new Coronavirus from one person to another has been reported and is expected. It probably happens by close contact with an infected person, such as in the context of family, workplace or health-care centers. Also by exposure to surfaces contaminated by the secretion of the infected person.

Are health care workers at risk of contracting the new Coronavirus?

Yes, transmissions of infection have been recorded among health care workers because they are more close to patients than the general public. Health care workers are recommended to use appropriate personal infection prevention and control measures.

Is there a vaccine against the new Coronavirus?

No, there is no vaccine. When a new disease appears, no vaccine is available unless it is first manufactured. It may take several years before a vaccine against the virus can be made.

Is there a cure for the new Coronavirus?

There is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the new Coronavirus. However, many of its symptoms can be treated, so treatment depends on the patient’s clinical condition. Supportive care for people infected can be very effective.

What can be done to protect against the new Coronavirus?

To reduce risk and prevent the new Corona virus infection, please apply the following procedures:

– Avoid direct contact with animals (live or dead) or presence in animal trading markets in China.

– Avoid direct contact with anyone with symptoms of a cold or respiratory infection.

– Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with tissue or flexed elbow.

– Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub.

– Make sure that animal products are cooked well before eating them.

For travelers to areas where the new Coronavirus has appeared, follow the above precautions. In addition, stay at home and avoid crowded places as much as possible, using a mask when in a crowded place, and go to the nearest healthcare institution in case of presence of any of the symptoms mentioned.

For those coming from the People’s Republic of China within the past 14 days or if you are in direct contact with a person who has visited China and suffer from chest infection and you have the following symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, diarrhea or vomiting), please visit the airport health control clinic directly or visit the nearest health center while you are in Oman and report your travel history.

Where can I get more information about the new Coronavirus?

For more information on the new Coronavirus (2019 n-COV), please contact the call center on 24441999 and follow information from the Ministry of Health cited in the national press.

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