New lung virus can spread to Norway

TravellingTravelling. Photo: Norway Today Media

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The Institute of Public Health says they are closely monitoring the situation of a new virus that can lead to serious lung disease. They do not rule out that it can come to Norway.

– “Further spread of the virus will not be unexpected, and we must be prepared for infected persons to come to Norway as well,” says senior adviser Ragnhild Tønnessen at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in a press release late Monday night.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a crisis meeting as a result of the virus outbreak that has so far taken four lives.

The new coronavirus causes a pneumonia-like disease with symptoms such as fever and breathing problems. Scientists believe the disease may have been transmitted from animals to humans. According to Chinese authorities, the virus is also transmitted between humans.

Avoid food markets
The Public Health Institute has provided travel advice in connection with the outbreak. They write that the European Infection Protection Agency (ECDC) considers the risk of travelers to Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, as low to moderate.

The risk is considered low if you avoid visits to food markets with live animals and fresh produce, the authorities write.

But the Institute of Public Health also writes that travelers belonging to risk groups should vaccinate against seasonal influenza within 14 days before departure, as there are currently outbreaks of seasonal influenza in China.

There are no drugs or vaccines for the new coronavirus.

Take precautions
As with all infections, good hand washing with soap and water is encouraged as a preventive measure, or the use of alcohol-based hand disinfection may be encouraged.

The Institute of Public Health further encourages good food hygiene, as well as avoiding contact with sick people, especially people with respiratory symptoms.

People who have been to Wuhan and develop signs of pneumonia should contact a doctor for coronavirus.

The fear is that the virus is spreading faster than first thought. 218 cases were registered in China on Monday. It’s a triple from Sunday.

Experts have struggled to determine how the virus is spreading, and it has been assumed that a seafood market in Wuhan was the center of the outbreak.

But on Monday, China’s National Health Commission said people could be infected by the virus without having visited the city, since the virus is being transmitted between people.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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