LIVING HEALTHY AND WISE
VIRUS: Tonga on ALERT What is this virus?
What is this virus? The virus has been identified as a new type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of pathogens, most of which cause mild respiratory infections such as the common cold. But coronaviruses can also be deadly. SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is caused by a coronavirus and killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in the early 2000s. Currently there is no cure found for this virus.
What are the symptoms? Its symptoms are typically a fever, cough and trouble breathing, but some patients have developed pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening infection that causes inflammation of the small air sacs in the lungs. People carrying the novel coronavirus may only have mild symptoms, such as a sore throat. They may assume they have a common cold and not seek medical attention, experts fear.
How is it detected? The virus's genetic sequencing was released by scientists in China to the rest of the world to enable other countries to quickly diagnose potential new cases. This helps other countries respond quickly to disease outbreaks. To contain the virus, airports are detecting infected people with temperature checks. But as with every virus, it has an incubation period, meaning detection is not always possible because symptoms have not appeared yet.
How did it start and spread? The first cases identified were among people connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. Cases have since been identified elsewhere which could have been spread through human-to-human transmission. Countries in Asia have stepped up airport surveillance. They include Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. Australia and the US are also screening patients for a high temperature, and the UK announced it will screen passengers returning from Wuhan.
MOH in Tonga has commenced monitoring inbound international flights on all port of entry and even at Vavau as well. Current situation for Tonga being on alert and at present there are no cases reported.
MOH is on preparation stage and being proactive requesting support from general staff and management to educate and take necessary actions such as providing the following to staff especially based at point of entry into Tonga either by air or sea.
PPE such as gloves, mask and hand sanitizers to be supplied to employees
MAINTAIN A GOOD RESPIRATION
Wearing a mask at work is no luxury, definitely not when coming into contact with hazardous materials. 15% of the employees within the EU inhale vapours, smoke, powder or dusk while performing their job. Dust masks offer protection against fine dust and other dangerous particles. If the materials are truly toxic, use a full-face mask. This adheres tightly to the face, to protect the nose and mouth against harmful pollution.
PROTECT YOUR HANDS WITH THE RIGHT GLOVES
Hands and fingers are often injured, so it is vital to protect them properly. Depending on the sector you work in, you can choose from gloves for different applications:
· protection against bacteriological risks
· protection against splashes from diluted chemicals.
Hand sanitizer is a liquid generally used to decrease infectious agents on the hands. Formulations of the alcohol-based type are preferable to hand washing with soap and water in most situations in the healthcare setting. It is generally more effective at killing microorganisms and better tolerated than soap and water