(CMR) The Cayman Islands public health officials including the HSA are closely monitoring the progression of the newest virus causing a lot of alarm across the world – the coronavirus.
This comes after the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has issued an alert to its member countries on the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV). A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
With several hundred cases now confirmed Dr. Samuel Williams Rodriguez, Medical Officer of Health is advising the public of what step are currently being taken:
“While there have been no local reports of the coronavirus in the Cayman Islands, the public health department is closely monitoring the situation. At the advice of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) we continue to strengthen our surveillance efforts to detect patients with acute respiratory disease and to ensure all health care professionals are up to date with guidance on infection and prevention control, and standard recommendations to prevent infection spread of the disease, he added.
“Travellers returning from countries where there have been reported cases, and who develop breathing difficulties that are unexplained by any other illness or virus, should contact a doctor as soon as possible and state their travel history so that a correct diagnosis can be made,” noted Dr. Williams-Rodriguez, Medical Officer of Health.
At the moment, there is no vaccine available and treatment is supportive care based on the patient’s symptoms. The Pan American Health Organization has not advised special screening for 2019-nCoV at points of entry nor recommended any travel or trade restrictions.
For more information on Acute Respiratory Disease, contact the Public Health Department on 244-2621.
Chinese officials are racing to respond to a highly contagious pneumonia-like virus that has now killed at least 17 people, infected hundreds more and spread to several other countries. In an effort to contain the illness, the city of Wuhan has issued a partial quarantine and shut down public transportation. But the medical gravity of the virus remains unknown.