Coronavirus: Ministry of Health tells Kenyans to take these four precautionary measures

By Vincent Kejitan | Wednesday, Feb 19th 2020 at 11:41
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The Ministry of Health on Wednesday issued an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Kenya and stated that preparedness measures had been stepped up.

Further, the Ministry revealed that the 13 cases investigated locally all tested negative but since the risk is still high, the public was advised to: Maintain basic hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices.Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.In addition, anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, coughing, difficulty in breathing and sneezing with a history of recent travel to China is advised to go to the nearest health facility for assessment and prompt management.We are advising Kenyans against non-essential travel to affected countries.

Information from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that as at 18th February 2019, 73,332 confirmed cases have been reported globally and 1,870 deaths majority from mainland China.

According to WHO, Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. 

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 

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