The official names have been announced for the virus responsible for COVID-19 (previously known as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’) and the disease it causes (from the WHO website).
The official names are:
Disease: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Virus: Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
Case Definitions for Acute Respiratory Syndrome with New Coronavirus (COVID-19):
• Patient with acute respiratory infection: sudden onset of at least one of the following; cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath (increased respiratory rate) requiring or not hospitalisation AND in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms, the patient met at least one of the following epidemiological criteria:
• Had close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 OR has had a travel history in areas with extended community transmission/other affected areas, mentioned in List of areas with extended community transmission COVID-19.
Close contact is defined by the National Centre for Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases as:
- The person living in the same household with a patient with COVID-19;
- The person who has had direct physical contact with a case of COVID-19 (e.g. Handshake followed by no hand hygiene);
- The person who has had unprotected direct contact with the infectious secretions of a case of COVID-19 (e.g. during coughing, touching handkerchiefs with the hand not protected by a glove);
- The person who has had face-to-face contact with a case of COVID-19 at a distance of less than two metres and for a duration of more than 15 minutes;
- The person who was in the same room (e.g. classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room) with a case of COVID-19, for a minimum of 15 minutes and at less than two metres distance;
- The person among the medical-sanitary personnel or another person who gives direct care to a patient with COVID-19 or a person from the laboratory personnel who handles samples collected from a patient with COVID-19, without the correct wearing of protective equipment;
- The person who was a passenger in an aeroplane with a case of COVID-19 and who was in one of the two rows in any direction from the infected individual, persons who travelled with the individual or who provided them with aeroplane care, members of the crew who served in the area where the case was. If the severity of the symptoms or the displacement of the infected individual in the aeroplane indicates a wider exposure, all close passengers in the area of the aeroplane or even all passengers in the aeroplane will be considered close contacts.
- The person who has been in a geographical area with extended community transmission.
The epidemiological link could have taken place within 14 days prior to the index case start date.
Probable case: A suspected case where the result of the laboratory-reported SARS test is inconclusive or where the result was positive for a pan-coronavirus test
Case confirmed: A person with laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of clinical signs and symptoms
These case definitions can be updated based on new global/European supervision requirements.
What is Coronavirus?
A Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, Coronaviruses are common around the world.
Wuhan Novel Coronavirus is a new strain of Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
What are the precautionary measures I should take?
The recommended steps people should take to protect themselves are the same as those to avoid flu and any other similar respiratory infections. You should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms.
The World Health Organisation recommendations in relation to the current Corona outbreak can be found here and include:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rubs or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of Novel Coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
- The consumption of raw or under-cooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
What is the advice on travel to/from areas impacted by Coronavirus?
The government has formed an inter-ministerial committee to monitor and manage potential infections with the new Coronavirus, made up of specialists, under the coordination of ministers from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications, which has already taken a set of measures for airports, as well as for healthcare facilities.
The Government and the National Committee for Special Emergency Situations advise against all travel to China, Hubei Province, Italy and Daegu, Cheongdo in South Korea
Additional advice from the Health Department includes:
- Stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Yellow zone countries mentioned above, and do not go to your place of work, study or public areas - even if you have no symptoms.
- Avoid having visitors to your home, where possible. It’s ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food.
- Avoid using public transport or taxis.
Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus. While the risk to the Romanian population remains low, this is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection.
If you develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough, you should continue to follow the advice above. Please do not leave your home until you been given advice by a doctor.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
It depends on the virus, but common symptoms include: respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
You should seek medical attention if you develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough.
When do we go to the doctor?
If the symptoms are specific to a mild cold and the patient does not suffer from other chronic diseases, then he can be treated at home. If the symptoms are worrying, with high fever, general alarming condition, contact the doctor immediately, especially if it concerns children, pregnant women, patients, the elderly or people with chronic diseases because they can develop complications.
Where can I get support if I have concerns about my health?
If you develop symptoms in Romania, stay indoors and avoid contact with others where possible.
Medical support is available through your family doctor, or you should go the Matei Bals Hospital, one of the best infectious disease hospitals in Romania, and here you can request a diagnostic test. If you think that you have had contact with someone who has Coronavirus or have any symptoms, you should contact your family doctor immediately.
The Administration of Hospitals and Medical Services of Bucharest appeals to all parents, to recognise the symptoms and to refer to the family doctor for diagnosis and treatment.