The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre has issued advice on how to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in Ireland.
In a post on its website, the HPSC states that cases has been detected in mainland China as well as 24 other countries and 'further global spread is likely'. Some of the countries listed as having confirmed cases of coronavirus include China, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia.
The HPSC advises that 'coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats, with some causing illness in humans e.g. SARS (civet cats) and MERS (dromedary camels)'. It adds that 'rarely, animal coronaviruses can change and infect people and then spread between people'.
People are being asked to look out for the following signs of infection:
- respiratory symptoms i.e. cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties,
- in more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The HPSC offers the following advice on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Ireland:
- regular hand washing,
- covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing,
- avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as cough or sneezing
- avoid visiting wet or live markets and contact with animals, excretions and droppings
- thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
- If you are unwell on return from travel to an affected area, contact your healthcare provider and tell them of recent travel.
More information about symptoms and how to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Ireland can be found here.