Trump Admin Declares Public Health Emergency Over Coronavirus Outbreak (3rd Coronavirus Case in Ontario Confirmed )

The new coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public-health emergency of international concern Thursday as the first person-to-person transmission of the virus was reported in the U.S.

The WHO designation, pointing to an increase in the number of cases, indicates that international public-health authorities now consider the respiratory virus a significant threat beyond China, where it originated last month. The move could further heighten the global response to the outbreak.

The agency made the declaration after a meeting of its emergency committee, which declined to do so last week. Since then, China, other governments and multinational businesses have taken emergency steps to limit the virus’s spread.

“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems.

Meanwhile, the US has told its citizens not to travel to China.

The state department issued a level four warning – having previously urged Americans to “reconsider” travel to China – and said any citizens in China “should consider departing using commercial means”.

China has said it will send charter plans to bring back Hubei province residents who are overseas “as soon as possible”.

A foreign ministry spokesman said this was because of the “practical difficulties” Chinese citizens have faced abroad. Hubei is where the virus emerged.

At least 213 people in the China have died from the virus, mostly in Hubei, with almost 10,000 cases nationally.

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The WHO said there had been 98 cases in 18 other countries, but no deaths.

Most international cases are in people who had been to Wuhan in Hubei.

However in eight cases – in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the United States – patients were infected by people who had travelled to China.

In the U.S., a 3rd person tested positive for the infection in the first case of human-to-human transmission. The patient is the husband of a Chicago woman infected with the virus whose case was reported last week. She had recently traveled to Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last month.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state officials emphasized that the overall risk for people in the U.S. and in Illinois remains low. “This person-to-person spread was between two very close contacts, a wife and husband,” said Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “It is not spreading in the wider community.”

Public-health authorities said the WHO designation helps mobilize resources to contain the virus’s spread. The WHO’s director-general can make recommendations to the international community, though they aren’t legally binding.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was confident in China’s capacity to control the outbreak, which has sickened more than 9,500 people and killed 213—up from 170 a day earlier—mostly in China’s Hubei province, which surrounds Wuhan.

How is China handling the outbreak?
A confirmed case in Tibet means the virus has reached every region in mainland China. According to the country’s National Health Commission, 9,692 cases have tested positive.

The central province of Hubei, where nearly all deaths have occurred, is in a state of lockdown. The province of 60 million people is home to Wuhan, the heart of the outbreak.

The city has effectively been sealed off and China has put numerous transport restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus.

Once patients are identified, hospitals must stand ready to care for them, a task that requires immediate preparation. If an nCoV pandemic occurs, hospitals could receive high numbers of patients, many requiring intensive care. Past coronavirus epidemics have spread widely within hospitals and infected health-care workers. Hospitals should prepare for this risk by strengthening their infection control procedures, making sure their workers have the right training, and maintaining a reliable supply of masks, gowns, and gloves. Such preparation is harder than it sounds: only a small number of countries produce these essential materials and supply them to the world, so international planning to keep supply chains functioning will be paramount.

Governments and public health authorities, too, will shoulder significant burdens, not least in communicating with the public in moments of crisis. Authorities will need to say what they know, what they don’t know, and when they will know it. They should be accurate and not withhold information, whether the news is good or bad. Public trust is essential to controlling an epidemic, for a simple reason: trust will determine whether the public listens to what authorities advise, such as suspending social gatherings, getting diagnosed quickly, seeking care at certain locations, and agreeing to be isolated while contagious. To such ends, confidence in government action and advice will be crucial. Governments will also have to partner with traditional and social media to help distribute factual information and minimize hoaxes and conspiracies.

An nCoV pandemic would require a great many measures from governments, the World Health Organization, other international organizations, medical and public health professionals, industry, and the public. The priorities above are just some of those measures—and alarmism is not among them.

The virus may still be contained before it spreads widely around the world, and all useful efforts toward that goal should continue. And even if nCoV does spread widely, it may eventually prove to be so mild that it comes to resemble other common respiratory diseases, obviating the need for continued extraordinary steps.

Yet the world cannot afford to presume these best-case scenarios. This new virus could prove to be both uncontainable and to cause a serious or lethal disease for many across the globe. Governments need to come to grips with this risk and act accordingly. If that worst-case outcome fails to materialize, their work will still have been right and worthwhile, as an insurance against this crisis and as preparation for the next one. If these measures turn out to be necessary, however, then the earlier we start, the more valuable our efforts will be.

How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Pandemic

However, we must also focus on our health. When you look at ways that many people have died from coronavirus, most of those cases have been from pulmonary complications. Most patients die from complications of pneumonia. When you get massive pneumonia from a viral infection, you have severe inflammation of lung tissue, which interferes with oxygenation and ultimately compromises other organs such as your heart, kidneys and liver. In other words, a septic shock develops.

Many times, pneumonia from viral infections also leads to a bacterial infection. This complicates the ability of your body to fight back and makes it difficult for your physicians to treat your infection.

First, most viral pneumonia outbreaks occur in people who are older or very young, i.e. infants. It also occurs in people with chronic diseases such as COPD, cardiac problems, congestive heart failure, Type 2 Diabetes, renal disease, and patients undergoing cancer treatment. Also, individuals with immunodeficiency disorders.

There are, however, some things that we can do to protect ourselves:

If you smoke, now is a good time to stop smoking.
If you are overweight, now is a good time to lose weight.
If you are non-compliant with taking your meds, i.e. blood pressure medication, it is a good time to keep this under control.
If you have Type 2 Diabetes be sure to be compliant with taking your medications and/or insulin.
A balanced diet helps.
Vaccines are important.
Pneumococcal Vaccine

The pneumococcal vaccine is strongly recommended for older folks. Vaccines literally work like armies in your body to fight the infections that could make problems if you develop pneumonia. People over Age 65 should talk to their physician about getting the pneumococcal vaccine.

Flu Vaccine.

This is not a vaccine to think about. The flu vaccine is important for everyone as early as 6 months old. Please get it!

TDAP Vaccine

The famous whooping cough is a problematic disease. This vaccine gives your body the proper antibodies to fight secondary infections that you might get from viral pneumonia.

The rationale for all the vaccines that I have mentioned is not that they will directly prevent you from getting the coronavirus, but they can prevent you from getting secondary complications. Getting the proper vaccines improves the ability of your body to fight and that is why it is important for you to consider them.

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