26 April 2013

ALERT: INFLUENZA A/H7N9 & NOVEL CORONAVIRUS

Recently, there are news regarding new viruses infecting human hosts:
1) influenza A/H7N9 in China and 
2) novel coronavirus (NCoV) in the Arabian Peninsula and Middle East.

When traveling to affected areas, the public are advised to take note of the following:
  • Avoid direct contact with poultry, birds or their droppings, and if contact is made, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water;
  • Cook poultry and eggs thoroughly before eating;
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretion after coughing or sneezing);
  • Avoid crowded places and contact with sick people with fever; and
  • Wear a mask when you have respiratory symptoms or are feeling unwell.
Most cases of infected patients have signs of pneumonia (lung infection). Any person who has history of travel to or residence within the last 14 days at affected areas must observe for symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath

And they should seek medical attention at the Emergency Department of TTSH (Tan Tock Seng Hospital). Or they should visit their family doctors for any signs and symptoms of flu.

Currently there are no vaccines for the above viruses. However, the seasonal flu vaccine should be considered if traveling overseas, particularly to affected areas. 


References
http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/pressRoom/pressRoomItemRelease/2013/moh-statement-on-first-confirmed-h7n9-case-in-taiwan.html

http://www.who.int/influenza/human_animal_interface/faq_H7N9/en/

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/faq_dec12/en/index.html