Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

SRI LANKA

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. On 12 January 2020 it was announced that a novel coronavirus had been identified in samples obtained from cases and that initial analysis of virus genetic sequences suggested that this was the cause of the outbreak. This virus is referred to as SARS-CoV-2, and the associated disease as COVID-19. As of 15 March 2020 (9:00am), over 152,000 cases have been diagnosed in 147 countries and areas (including mainland China), with a total of over 5,700 fatalities. Of these totals, over 72,000 cases and more than 2,500 deaths have been reported from countries outside mainland China. Within China, 84% of cases reported to date are in Hubei Province. (1)

Transmission

We do not know the routes of transmission of COVID-19; however, other coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. In addition to respiratory secretions, other coronaviruses have been detected in blood, faeces and urine.

Under certain circumstances, airborne transmission of other coronaviruses is thought to have occurred via unprotected exposure to aerosols of respiratory secretions and sometimes faecal material.

Clinical Features

Nomenclature and characterization

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are :

  • fever, 

  • tiredness,

  • dry cough.

  • Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. 

The Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses has designated the aetiological agent ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2’ (SARS-CoV-2). Characterisation of SARS-CoV-2 is ongoing. Initial information shared by China and WHO indicates that SARS-CoV-2 is a beta-coronavirus that is genetically similar to SARS-like coronaviruses obtained from bats in Asia.

Who is at Risk?

While Health Institutions is still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons, persons with pre-existing medical conditions, appear to develop serious illness more often than others. 

  • Patient with high blood pressure,

  • heart disease, 

  • lung disease,

  • cancer 

  • diabetes

 

 

How to protect yourself and others

Use your sleeves to cough or use tissues

Throw the used tissues into the bin

Wash your hands for more than 20 seconds

Use disinfection spray or liquid to wipes in public common use items (E,g door handles

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