Africa on alert for first case of China coronavirus

Ivory Coast woman with flu-like symptoms under observation in isolation in West African country after arriving from Beijing on the weekend

Various countries across the continent ramp up screening for the illness to prevent its spread

According to SCMP, African countries have stepped up screenings at border checkpoints to prevent the spread of a pneumonia-like illness from Chinaas the continent waits to see if it has its first confirmed case of the coronavirus.

Eugène Aka Aouele, the Ivorian health minister, said on Sunday that a 34-year-old woman from the West African country had arrived in Abidjan from Beijing on Saturday with flu-like symptoms including difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing and a runny nose.

The woman, a student who has lived in Beijing for five years, was in isolation, under medical observation and her condition was “satisfactory”, the health ministry said.

“There is a suspicion of a case of coronavirus pneumonia. The final diagnosis will be established after the results of the analysis of the samples taken,” Aouele said.

SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIUS
•Runny nose
•Headache
•Cough
•Sore throat
•Fever
•Feeling of being unwell
For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, there’s a
chance the virus could cause a lower, and
much more serious, respiratory tract illness like a pneumonia or bronchitis.

HOW IT SPREADS
Human coronaviruses most commonly
spread from an infected person to others
through:

•The air by coughing and sneezing
•Close personal contact, such as touching
or shaking hands

•Touching an object or surface with the
virus on it, then touching your mouth,
nose, or eyes before washing your hands
•Rarely, fecal contamination

HOW TO PREVENT IT
There are currently no vaccines available to
protect you against human coronavirus infection. Transmission is reduced thru:

•Washing your hands often with soap
and water
•Avoiding touching eyes, nose, or
mouth with unwashed hands
•Avoiding close contact with people
who are sick

If you are mildly sick, keep yourself hydrated, stay at home, and rest.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider.

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