Wuhan virus in Thailand
Image credit: AP, Getty
Since its first reported case in December, the virus, which originated in China’s Hubei province, has since infected over 600 people, with the death toll currently at 17. Other countries with reported infections include Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, United States, Singapore, and Thailand.
Source of the virus still unconfirmed
Medical staff transferring patients in Wuhan. Such staff members are at high-risk of infection, as the possibility of human-to-human transmission was recently confirmed by officials.
Image credit: Getty
According to CNN reports, doctors and scientists have yet to determine the source of the virus. Scientists suspect that the virus might have been caused by people consuming infected animals sold at a local seafood market in Wuhan.
Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan
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Wuhan has since administered a lockdown, with its airport and railway stations closed and transportation services suspended.
As of today, Thailand has confirmed 4 cases of people infected with the virus. One of them includes a 74-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, as reported by CNA.
International airports like KLIA have since tightened precautionary measures for travellers
Image credit: EPA
There is also growing concern as major cities like Bangkok are seen as a popular tourist hub for Chinese travellers.
Thailand listed under countries best prepared to deal with pandemics
Amidst discussions of the outbreak, Reddit users have been sharing an index of countries that have been listed as the most prepared to respond to pandemics, as shared in 2019.
Source: Statista Charts, 2019 Global Health Security Index
Thailand is listed at #6 on the list with an index score of 73.2. It’s also is the only South-East Asian region that’s on the list. According to CEOWORLD, Thailand is said to have one of the best healthcare systems with a healthcare sector that continues to be developed.
Precautions to take to prevent infections
Travellers in Hong Kong with face masks
Image credit: AP
The World Health Organisation describes a coronavirus as a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses that range from a common cold to more severe illnesses such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) or MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
WHO also shared the common signs of infection of the Wuhan coronavirus:
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
However, we can easily take the following precautions to minimise risks:
- Washing hands regularly with soap
- Wearing face masks, especially in crowded spaces like trains and shopping malls
- Covering mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing
- Properly cooking meat and eggs are cooked before consumption
Travellers are also advised to avoid visiting infected countries to prevent further spread of the virus.
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