3 Chinese nationals quarantined in Kalibo due to suspected SARS-like virus

Maris Federez   •   January 20, 2020   •   730

Aklan, Philippines – The Provincial Health Office (PHO) in Kalibo is currently on red alert status as three Chinese nationals were reportedly quarantined after they were suspected of having contracted the new SARS-like pneumonia virus.

The three were admitted at the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbukon Memorial Hospital (DRSMTH).

Aklan PHO’s Dr. Cornelio Cuahon said that first to be put under hospital quarantine was a 29-year-old Chinese national on January 17.

The second was a three-year-old girl on January 18, while the third was a 65-year-old who was tagged after landing at Kalibo airport this Monday.

The Bureau of Quarantine stationed at the Kalibo International Airport (KLO) reportedly spotted the three Chinese nationals as they arrived from different provinces of China.

The KLO has direct flights coming from different parts of China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the virus belongs to the same family of coronaviruses like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which have killed nearly 800 people worldwide in the 2002 outbreak that also started in China.

This prompted the WHO and health leaders to step up efforts to contain the new-found virus which reportedly emerged in Wuhan province in December 2019.

Authorities are concerned that the virus might spread to other countries as Chinese citizens tend to travel domestically and abroad as they celebrate the Lunar New Year break which will begin next week. /mbmf

China’s approach to containing epidemic contributes to global medical community — WHO

UNTV News   •   February 25, 2020

China’s bold approach to contain the rapid spread of the new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and continuously deadly epidemic, said an official with the World Health Organization (WHO) Monday.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, Bruce Aylward, head of WHO Experts Advance Team, said China has undertaken aggressive efforts in effectively fighting the virus and its experience will contribute to the global medical community’s knowledge in tackling the virus.

Experts led by Aylward and those from China have just completed a joint mission starting from Feb. 16 and returned from central China’s Wuhan City, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

He said, “But what we found was even though every province was suffering outbreaks and was getting infected, the governors were prioritizing the movement of medical teams and PVE out to Hubei and Wuhan. That’s a very important message for the rest of the world about how we work in the kind of solidarity, collaborative action that’s going to be needed to beat this virus. And the opinion of the joint mission, after looking at it very, very closely and in different ways, that there is no question that China’s bold approach to the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of what was a rapidly escalating and continuously be a deadly epidemic.”

China’s efforts have reduced at least 10,000 or even tens of thousands of possible infected cases, and its efforts can be recommended to the rest of the world, he added.

Apart from Wuhan, the 25 experts also visited Beijing, south China’s Guangzhou City and southwest China’s Sichuan Province, and talked to officials, medical workers and the public.

The joint mission found that even though people of all ages can be infected by the virus, the average age of patients is 51. Even as over 3,000 medical staff have been infected, new confirmed cases are on the decline.

“So first of all, the purpose of the mission right now was to look at what works, I’m not avoiding the question, but the purpose was what works. The single biggest lesson is speed, speed is everything. But what worries me most is, has the rest of the world learned the lesson of speed,” he said. (CGTN / CCTV VIA REUTERS CONNECT)

“Every scenario on the table” in China virus outbreak – WHO

UNTV News   •   February 18, 2020

The latest data provided by China on people infected with coronavirus indicates a decline in new cases, but “every scenario is still on the table” in terms of the epidemic’s evolution, the World Health Organization said on Monday (February 17).

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva that China’s detailed paper on more than 44,000 confirmed cases provided insight into the age range of infections, disease severity and mortality rates.

Asked whether the outbreak was a pandemic, Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, said: “The real issue is whether we are seeing efficient community transmission outside of China, and at the present time, we are not observing that”.

WHO expert Sylvie Briand said the agency was working closely with Japanese authorities and the chief medical officer on the Diamond Princess docked off Yokohama on infections and evacuations, adding: “Our focus is on our public health objective that we contain the virus and not contain the people”. (Reuters)

(Production: Marina Depetris, Johnny Cotton)

Lifesaver tips: What to do if someone is having a stroke

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stroke is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide.

In its report, the WHO said that of the 56.9 million deaths worldwide in 2016, stroke and Ischaemic heart disease accounted for a combined 15.2 million deaths.

A stroke occurs when there’s bleeding in your brain or when blood flow to the brain is blocked or limited.

Its risk factors include having high blood pressure, had a previous stroke, smoking, diabetes and heart disease. A person’s risk of stroke also increases with age.

A stroke is a true emergency that needs quick action.

When a person is having a stroke, every second counts and quick intervention may increase a person’s chance of survival and reduce the risk of long-term disability.

Strokes, depending on its severity, can carry a number of sudden, telltale signs, including:

  • Drooping on one side of the face
  • Difficulty in lifting of one or both arms to its full weight
  • Slurred or difficulty with talking and understanding speech
  • Loss of vision
  • Difficulty in walking, dizziness
  • Loss of balance or consciousness

The WHO said that having sudden severe headache with no known cause is another potential sign that one might be having a stroke.

According to UNTV’s Lifesaver program, a bystander should use F.A.S.T to help remember warning signs in the event of possible stroke:

  • Face. Does the face droop on one side when the person tries to smile?
  • Arms. Can the person lift his/her one arm to its full weight?
  • Speech. Is the person having a slurred speech or difficulty with talking and understanding speech?
  • Time. If you observe any of these signs, immediately call a local emergency number.

What should you do while waiting for the emergency medical service to arrive?

  • Remain calm. Talk to the person and reassure him or her that help is on the way.
  • If the person is conscious, gently place them into a comfortable position but do not try to move them any further.
  • Do not give them any food or liquids.
  • Note the person’s symptoms and look for any changes in condition. Also try to remember the time when symptoms started. It is important to give the emergency medical responder as much information as possible about the person’s situation.
  • If he or she falls unconscious, monitor their airway and breathing by lifting the person’s chin and tilt their head slightly backward. Look to see if their chest is moving or listen for breathing sounds.
  • If there are no signs of breathing, start performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

During a medical emergency situation, always remember to stay focused and take action quickly.

Watch these episodes of Lifesaver below for more information on the early signs of stroke:

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