Every couple of years some new virus is introduced to the world and until the world knows more about how to combat it, unfortunately too many pay the price. The newest virus that is scaring the world is called the coronavirus. I would like to say this upfront but you do not contract the coronavirus by drinking any type of Corona(TM) beer or products.
It appears that this virus’s origin is from the Whutan region of China. In China, there are many foods that are considered delicacies including shark fin, frogs, bee pupae, bats, and snakes. The news outlets were initially reporting that the people infected were infected by eating bats and snakes. However, the coronavirus is an airborne virus, and is believed that a sick animal transmitted it humans, also know as zoonotic.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans which are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
As with other respiratory illnesses, infection with 2019-nCoV can cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
So how will you protect yourself if you are traveling to areas where people are affected? The WHO recommends that following:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or us an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after coughing or sneezing, caring for the sick, anytime being around food including eating, after toilet use, or handling animals.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue and throw the tissue away after one use
- Maintain social distancing of at least 3 feet between yourself and other people
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
- If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early
- Avoid consumption of raw or under cooked animal products
If you have travel planned soon, talk with your travel agent as to what precautions are being taken where you are traveling to, especially if it is an area that has several people infected. Currently, travel inside the United States, the Caribbean, and to Europe is low risk. Travel to Asia including China and Southeast Asia is more high risk.
Knowing how to protect yourself is always key so you can make sure that Life is Better Traveling!