By Aaron Recuenco
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released three guidelines on the prevention and control of the 2019-novel Corona Virus (nCoV) Acute Respiratory Disease (ARD) amid the spread of the virus in China and 24 other countries.
Based on the WHO 19th Situation Report released on Sunday, there are 34,886 confirmed cases across the world, 34,598 of them are in China.
At least 18 new cases of infection were reported outside China.
A total of 724 deaths were reported, all of them in China, except one in the Philippines.
In order to contain the rapid infection rate, WHO officials has convened global expert networks for laboratory, clinical management, mathematical modelling, risk communication and community engagement, and infection prevention and control (IPC) to come up with guidelines on how people should protext themselves and measures that could be done during the infection.
The materials are available here according to the WHO Situtation Report: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technicalguidance
The first key guideline deals with infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection is suspected.
In order to prevent human-to-human transmission in health care settings, these were recommended:
1. Ensuring triage, early recognition, and source control (isolating patients with suspected 2019-nCoV infection);
2. Applying standard precautions for all patients;
3. Implementing empiric additional precautions (droplet and contact and, whenever applicable, airborne precautions) for suspected cases of 2019-nCoV infection;
4. Implementing administrative controls;
5. Using environmental and engineering controls.
The second key guideline focuses on what people should do if mild symptoms of nCoV are showing.
The document talks about home care and management of contacts for people showing mild symptoms of nCoV.
It includes guidance on:
1. Household/caregiver’s protection including what personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear when caring for someone infected with 2019-nCoV and on environmental and waste management;
2. For an infected individual with mild disease, for example to wear a mask; and
3. For the management of contacts (including caregivers/health care workers) which includes 14 days of monitoring of health for contacts.
WEARING OF MASKS
The last guideline focuses on the use of masks in the community, during home care and in health care settings in the context of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
Initially, these are the guidelines:
1. In community settings, medical masks are not recommended for people without symptoms;
2. For those who choose to wear medical masks, appropriate mask management should be followed, which includes how to use and dispose of masks;
3. Symptomatic individuals are recommended to wear medical masks and seek early medical care if there are any signs of respiratory distress.