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Outbreak of a Novel CoronaVirus COVID19

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Outbreak of a Novel CoronaVirus COVID19

In the central Chinese city of Wuhan, there has been an extraordinary accumulation of pneumonia. These are caused by a previously unknown coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Coronaviridae belong to the enveloped viruses and are therefore not particularly resistant to disinfectants.

Sanosil Disinfectants W10 & Sanosil are effective against Coronavirus

The Coronaviridae are a virus family within the order Nidovirales. Their representatives cause very different diseases in different vertebrates such as mammals, birds and fish. Coronaviruses are genetically highly variable, and individual virus species can infect several host species by crossing the species barrier.

Such species transitions have led to infections in humans with, among other things, the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) – the pathogen that caused the 2002/2003 SARS pandemic – and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which appeared in 2012.

A cluster of pneumonia observed in the Chinese city of Wuhan around the turn of the year 2019/2020 is also attributed to a previously unknown coronavirus, which was given the provisional name 2019-nCoV. In humans, the human coronavirus species is of particular importance as a pathogen causing mild respiratory infections (colds) and severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Coronaviruses and respiratory masks: what do they really do?

There is already a shortage of respiratory masks in China. But what do they really do?

Basically, a distinction must be made between a “proper” breathing mask, e.g. filter class P3, and a mouth and nose protection mask (also known as an operating or surgical  mask).

  • P3 breathing masks fit snugly around the nose and mouth.  They often have an exhalation valve to protect against excessive soaking. These masks provide ACTIVE protection against virus-containing droplets by trapping the aerosols before they enter the airways. However, only if tightly fitting glasses are worn at the same time to protect the eyes. Such protective masks are necessary if you have to go near sick people (e.g. hospital staff). The protection provided by the breathing mask is only guaranteed if you change diligently and keep your hands clean at the same time.
  • Surgical masks do NOT protect against pathogenic aerosols, as they do not seal tightly.  However, they are not completely useless: many infections with viruses (flu and corona viruses) occur by touching contaminated surfaces such as handles, lift buttons, ATM keyboards, etc. and then reaching into the mouth, nose or eyes. – According to studies, this happens up to 26 times per hour. A mask forms a physical barrier and can thus prevent this path of infection. In addition, a surgical mask protects the surrounding area if a patient wears one, as the aerosols are severely restricted when sneezing and coughing. However, almost the same protection as a surgical mask is offered by any scarf or neckerchief that is tied in front of the mouth and nose – a barrier is also placed between the hands and mucous membranes.

    Current Situation International

    There are 224 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy (as of 13.00 on 24 February 2020), five of which have been fatal. As for all countries and regions affected by coronavirus, the same applies to Italy: travellers should inform themselves about the local situation.

    Outside Italy, the situation in Europe remains unchanged: There have been reports from Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Russia, Sweden and Spain.

    Infections with the new coronavirus have been confirmed in China and more than 30 other countries or regions.

    In South Korea, case numbers are rising rapidly. There is also a spread of cases in Iran. Several people there have died from the new coronavirus.

    More than 79,000 cases of infection with the new coronavirus have been reported worldwide. Of these, 2627 people have died; 33 people have died outside mainland China.


    Current situation in Switzerland

    In Switzerland, the new coronavirus has not yet been detected in any of the samples tested.

    However, it is possible that cases will also occur in Switzerland. The federal government, cantons and the health care system are prepared for the case of a spread of the new coronavirus in Switzerland.

    There are no restrictions on entry into Switzerland based on the current situation assessment.

    At present, smears from the nose and throat of all suspected cases are being examined in diagnostic laboratories. If the laboratory confirms an infection with the coronavirus, those who have had contact with the sick person will be informed of their risk. This is done by the health authorities.

  • What is the coronavirus?

    1. what is 2019-nCoV?

    2019-nCoV is a new type of corona virus discovered in China at the end of 2019. An exceptional incidence of pneumonia in the central Chinese city of Wuhan led to the discovery of this virus’. The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the novel virus as 2019-nCoV (for 2019-novel coronavirus). The virus belongs to the same family as the causative agents of MERS and SARS.
    The information currently available suggests that the virus originates from animals, has been transmitted to humans and can now also spread from person to person. An animal and fish market in the city of Wuhan, which has been closed, is suspected. Direct detection in animals and identification of the responsible animal species is still pending. Already in 2002, the SARS epidemic originated at a Chinese animal market.

    2. what disease causes 2019-nCoV?

    The first symptoms are diffuse and similar to those of seasonal flu. Non-specific symptoms such as fever, muscle pain and possibly also nausea and diarrhoea occur, followed by coughing and shortness of breath. A characteristic feature of severe illness is inflammation of the lungs. At present, it appears that it is mainly people in the second half of life who fall ill with the new virus.

    3. where does the 2019-nCoV pathogen occur?

    The new virus is thought to occur in animals in Southeast Asia, but the carrier(s) of the virus have not yet been identified. Wild animals, such as bats, are sold at animal markets in southern China and consumed as a delicacy.

    So far, over 600 cases have been confirmed, of which at least 17 have died and several are in critical condition. Further cases are in clarification. Every day dozens of new cases are added, mainly in Asia. In China, outside Wuhan, the origin of the epidemic, cases have been reported from most regions in central, southern and eastern China. Internationally, cases have been confirmed from Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and the USA. So far, the vast majority of the sick people have stayed in Wuhan.

    4. How can I get infected?

    The main transmission route is most likely to be from animals to humans, because initially only people who have had direct contact with infected animals and/or their excrements are infected with the new virus. However, the latest findings now allow the conclusion that 2019-nCoV can also be transmitted from person to person. This thesis is supported by the fact that the virus has also infected medical and nursing staff. There are also reports that people in the same household but without direct contact with animal markets have contracted the virus. It is assumed that close contact with a sick person is necessary for the virus to be transmitted.

    5. is the risk of infection greater abroad than in Switzerland?

    So far, the virus has not been detected in Europe or Switzerland. At present, infections are only known from Asia. It appears that most of the people who have fallen ill have stayed in the city of Wuhan in China. The WHO and the FOPH have not imposed any travel restrictions, but advise caution when travelling to the affected region. In particular, animal markets and contact with wild and dead animals should be avoided there. Furthermore, people with acute respiratory diseases should be avoided if possible and good hygiene measures should be applied.

    6 What is being done to contain the epidemic?

    The most important thing is to monitor the close contact of a sick person. These contacts are identified, contacted and monitored until a disease can be ruled out.
    As of Thursday 23.01.2020, the regional authority of the district to which Wuhan belongs has stopped all public transport connections from Wuhan and decreed the wearing of masks in public places in Wuhan. Some airports in China and in the Asian region have started to screen passengers on entry for symptoms of a disease.
    The WHO Emergency Committee is monitoring the situation on the ground and will soon decide whether this is a public health emergency of international concern and then recommend appropriate action and assistance.

    7. how to protect yourself from 2019-nCoV disease

    Currently, there is no vaccination against coronavirus available. Several studies on vaccine development were discontinued after the SARS epidemic had subsided. It cannot be estimated if and when a marketable product will be available.

    8. how is a disease with 2019-nCoV detected?

    A suspected infection with 2019-nCoV must be clarified by a doctor. This will involve asking about travel, contacts and symptoms of the disease. A final confirmation is only possible through laboratory analysis. The Reference Centre for Emerging Virus Infections (NAVI) at the University Hospital of Geneva has specific 2019-nCoV tests available.

    9. how is a disease treated with 2019-nCoV?

    At present, there is no specific treatment of diseases with coronaviruses available. Therapeutic options are currently limited to the treatment of the existing symptoms.
    If a disease with 2019-nCoV is present, the patient must be isolated. If the disease is severe, intensive medical care – possibly with artificial respiration – is usually required.

    10. must suspected cases be isolated?

    Yes, to prevent the spread of the disease, suspicious cases must be isolated until it can be ruled out that this or any other dangerous virus is responsible for the disease.

    11. how can the 2019-nCoV pathogen be inactivated?

    It is recommended to wash clothes and skin that have been contaminated with the pathogen (excrements) with soap and water. Objects and surfaces should be cleaned with Sanosil Disinfectants

    Recommendations for travellers

    Travel to Wuhan is currently discouraged as the city has been virtually quarantined by the authorities and transport links are very limited. For trips to the other regions of China, the FOPH recommends

    – Good personal hygiene measures such as regular hand washing
    – Avoid markets where live or dead animals are traded
    – Eat eggs and meat only well cooked
    – No contact with live animals and their excrements
    – If possible, no contact with persons with respiratory symptoms
    – Returning travellers from China with breathing difficulties or symptoms of illness
    you should visit a doctor and point out the China trip

    Airports in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan and other cities in Asia have introduced screening measures for passengers from Wuhan. The US has established screening procedures at Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York (JFK) airports for passengers from Wuhan. In Europe, measures for direct flights from Wuhan have also been implemented at Fiumicino airport in Rome and Heathrow airport in London.
    Increased surveillance measures can also be expected at other international airports.

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