Tips to protect yourself and others
2019-nCoV – otherwise known as novel coronavirus – has been dominating the headlines recently. While it is spreading quickly across parts of Asia and beyond, there are simple precautions you can make to reduce the risk of infection and transmission.
How dangerous is it?
Like other respiratory illnesses, it can cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties and organ failure. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
Should I wear a medical mask?
While wearing a medical mask can help in limiting the spread of some diseases including the 2019-nCoV, it alone will not stop infection. Washing hands and avoiding contact with potentially infected individuals is the best way to reduce the risk of infection.
Are children at risk?
It is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but it is important to note that so far there have been no reported fatalities of children linked to the coronavirus. The virus is fatal in rare cases, mainly with older people with pre-existing medical conditions.
However, there are significant secondary impacts on children, particularly for children in poor urban areas. These impacts also include school closures, recently witnessed in Mongolia.
“This coronavirus is spreading at a breakneck speed and it is important to put all the necessary resources into halting it. We may not know enough about the virus’s impact on children or how many may be affected – but we do know that close monitoring and prevention are key. Time is not on our side.”
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore
What is UNICEF doing?
A UNICEF shipment of respiratory masks and protective suits for health workers landed in Shanghai, China, at the end of January to support China’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Weighing 6 metric tons, the supplies were sent from UNICEF’s global supply hub in Copenhagen and will be dispatched to Wuhan. UNICEF will be sending more items in the coming days and weeks.
For more information about the virus, visit the WHO website