Sunday, March 1, 2020

Coronavirus spreads at home and abroad

At Home

New coronavirus cases indicate virus is spreading in U.S.; FDA expands testing reports the Washington Post.

The four new cases Friday bring the total number of covid–19 cases detected through the U.S. public health system to 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Perhaps Trump, the Orange Ogre of Disinformation, might take note. The number of US cases is_not_ 15, not 5, and certainly not zero.

Washington state announced late Friday that a high school student in Snohomish County, just north of Seattle, tested positive for the deadly virus and was in home isolation in a suspected community transmission case. State health officials also said a woman in her 50s in King County tested positive after traveling to Daegu, South Korea, the site of a major coronavirus outbreak. She, too, is in home isolation.

Earlier Friday, Oregon health officials reported a presumptive positive test in a Washington County elementary school employee with no known travel history or contact with infected individuals. California also reported a second case of community transmission, in Santa Clara County, after reporting the nation’s first such case, in Solano County, earlier in the week.

Abroad

Tanzania’s The Citizen Reporter explains How Africa can prevent spread of coronavirus.

As a first step, the article lists those countries that are most at risk.

Dar es Salaam. Researchers have classified Tanzania among African countries that might be ill-prepared to detect imported cases of coronavirus and prevent its further transmission, suggesting that such countries must mobilize more resources, intensify surveillance and urgently prioritise capacity building among its experts to curb an impending outbreak.

Findings of a study which the researchers published in the Lancet Journal five days ago reveals that in Africa, countries with the highest risk of importing the virus are Egypt, Algeria, and South Africa but have moderate to high capacity to respond to outbreaks.

However, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Angola, Ghana, and Kenya are at moderate risk but have variable capacity and high vulnerability, said the study which is highlighting the ability of the continent to deal with the coronavirus (COVID–19).

In Tanzania, where no case of the virus has been reported, the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children said it had intensified surveillance at ports of entry, such as main airports where screening is being carried out.

The Lancet study, which suggested ways to avoid importing cases of the virus, has identified three clusters of countries that share the same exposure to the risk originating from the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, and the city of Beijing.

The virus continues to spread in China and cases have been reported in more than 25 countries. Africa was spared for a long time until Egypt reported the first case. So far more than 80,000 people have been infected globally, killing at least 2,700, according to WHO updates.

Algeria is one of 13 countries, which the WHO has identified as a top priority for preparedness measures due to their direct links or high volume of travel to China.

This happens at a time not many countries in Africa can detect the virus in the laboratory. But in the past one week, a number of laboratories able to test samples of the virus on the continent has tripled, with Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria and Sierra Leone joining the list that previously only included Senegal and South Africa.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries; WHO raises risk alert to ‘very high’. Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, Lithuania, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Iceland reported their first cases of the virus as the number of countries hit by the outbreak neared 60.

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