Nepal launched the 'Visit Nepal Year 2020' campaign just a while ago & we've been hearing the news of 'coronavirus' the epidemic in China has begun to alarm Nepali's tourism sector. Nepal is taking several steps to prevent the spread of disease, no need to panic for now. There have been regular outbreaks of respiratory diseases including seasonal influenza, ‘avian influenza’ and ‘swine flu’ before. The Nepali media often reports cases of 'Unknown Viral Disease' so necessary preparations have been made.
According to the health ministry, ambulances are on standby at Tribhuvan International Airport "if any suspect noticed, will be immediately transferred to the hospital," said one of the officials from the health ministry. The Nepal government had set up screening centres for the coronavirus at airport and border control points. yet, the latest report tells the first infected person was diagnosed.
Nepal said a 32-year-old man arriving from Wuhan had tested positive for the deadly disease. The patient, who was initially quarantined, recovered and was discharged. The government said surveillance has been increased at the airport "and suspicious patients entering Nepal are being monitored".
With growing numbers of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal, It's time to focus all efforts on preparation led by what the known about coronavirus. Nepal appears to have learnt from the weakness during SARS & H1N1 (swine flu) outbreaks in the past and remains vigilant at this point.
What is coronavirus?
WHO quotes, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Some viruses are transmitted between humans and animals. For example, SARS was thought to have been transmitted to humans from civet cats while MERS spread to humans from a type of camel. There are many coronaviruses that circulate in animals not yet infected by humans. The name coronavirus derives from the Latin word corona which means crown or halo. The virus image is reminiscent of a solar corona, under an electron microscope.
A novel coronavirus, identified on January 7 by the Chinese authorities and currently named as 2019-nCoV, is a new strain that was not previously identified in humans. Therefore, scientists do not have sufficient information about the virus ' characteristics to provide evidence-informed recommendations on containment and care for public health. Anyway, human-to-human transmission has been confirmed so before making any speculations on this one should monitor it properly & look for a cure.
Little Known Facts Of Coronavirus
There is no cure for the common cold, no cure for coronavirus (till now)
- A coronavirus causes both SARS and MERS.
- Coronaviruses infect many different species.
- There are six known human coronaviruses.
- SARS spread from China to cause infection in 37 countries, killing 774 people.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- a runny nose
- a cough
- in rare cases, fever
- a sore throat
- exacerbated asthma
Cold or flu-like symptoms usually occur within two to four days of infection with the coronavirus and are normally mild. As per the sources, the incubation period of coronavirus could be around 10 to 14 days.
Is Coronavirus deadly?
Well, at this point it's hard to make any assumptions, however, some experts say it may not be as deadly as other types of coronavirus such as SARS, which killed nearly 800 people worldwide during a 2002-2003 outbreak that also originated from China. MERS, which wasn't as widespread, was more deadly, killing a third of those it infected. According to BBC till Jan 31, - the death toll from the new coronavirus now stands at 106, with the number of infections almost doubling in a day to more than 4,500. Most of the deaths have been in Hubei province.
By now other countries have also detected the coronavirus at the point of writing this article, 9,821 confirmed cases of coronavirus are recorded. All cases involve people who either have come from Wuhan or have recently been there.
The following image indicates that more people have been infected than the 8,098 total from the SARS Outbreak!
What is being done to stop from spreading?
- Chinese authorities effectively sealed off Wuhan flights and trains out of the city are shut.
- Chinese authorities have also stepped up monitoring and disinfection efforts in advance of the Lunar New Year break.
- Airport authorities from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and the US are also screening passengers.
- Beijing and Shanghai introduced a 14-day observation period for people arriving from Hubei
- Authorities postponed the new semester for schools and universities nationwide, without giving a resumption date
- The immigration administration encouraged citizens to reconsider the timing of overseas travel to reduce cross-border movement
- The Disneyland attraction parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong have both been closed.
How does coronavirus spread
Research on how a human coronavirus spreads from one person to the next has not been comprehensive. However, it is believed that viruses transmit from the respiratory system using secreted fluid.
Where did the virus originate?
Reports said, the coronavirus came from a seafood market in Wuhan where wildlife was also traded illegally. The WHO also says that the primary source of the outbreak is most likely an animal source. According to Chinese scientists, snakes-including the Chinese krait and the cobra-might be the source of the newly discovered virus.
Coronaviruses can spread when:
- Coughing and sneezing without mouth covering, will release droplets into the air and spread the virus.
- Touching or shaking hands with a person who has the virus will pass the virus to the next
- Making any contact with a surface or object that has a virus & then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth.
- On rare occasions, a coronavirus may spread through faeces.
Types Of Coronavirus
There are currently six recognized forms of coronavirus that can infect humans
- 229E (alpha coronavirus)
- NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
- OC43 (beta coronavirus)
- HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
- MERS-CoV, (Dangerous)
How to treat coronavirus?
There no cure for coronavirus as of now. So the cure is similar to common cold i.e. taking care of yourself and over-the-counter (OTC) medication
Ways For Prevention: Coronavirus Treatment
- Rest and avoid overexertion.
- Drink enough water.
- Avoid smoking and smoky areas.
- Take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce pain and fever.
- Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.
What we recommend
As a genuine travel operator, it's our responsibility to let you know about the places you visit. This includes knowing about the risks & planning on what's coming with regards to safety & health. Staying updated is your duty, just in case things change.
As of now, the WHO is keeping a close eye on this situation. If you are planning your perfect holiday in the Himalayas, we strongly recommend the following.
Before you travel to Nepal
Before you go, read our tips on coronavirus disease and on medical assistance abroad.
- Do your Homework beforehand or read our advice on the coronavirus outbreak & medical assistance.
- If you are pregnant or have a weak immune system, have a word from your doctor before you travel with children.
- Check with your travel operator, agent, airline, accommodation provider & insurance provider to consider your options with respect to possible changes in services.
- Personalize your holiday, Look for a tailor-made option rather than group travel.
- Know about the destination you are travelling.
- Stay aware of the risks you are talking, and efforts to control coronavirus spread can cause more widespread disruptions, that may come into effect with minimal notice.
- Understand the risks that you are taking, and that efforts to control coronavirus spread can cause more widespread disturuptions that may come into effect with minimal notice.
- Do check Frequently Asked Questions on our catalogue
- Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media platforms: facebook, instagram, pinterest and twitter to receive daily updates.
Novel coronavirus (Department of Health Services Nepal)
Novel coronavirus (World Health Organization)
Novel coronavirus (Government of Nepal Ministry of Health and Population)
While you're away
- When you start feeling unwell, consult a doctor right away
- Take advice from local authorities of your country
- Avoid going to High-risk areas such as farms, livestock markets and animal slaughter areas including fish and seafood.
- Stay away from animals (alive or dead), including pigs, chickens, ducks and wild birds
- Avoid surfaces with animal droppings or secretions
- On any contact with any animals or products make sure your hands are fully sanitized before touching your eyes, nose and moth.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often, carry hand sanitizer with you and use it frequently
- Keep away from sick people, especially if they have a fever, cough or trouble breathing
- Check your health status, to remain on the safe side
- Reach out to your airline or travel company for any updates or changes to services
- Wearing a mask would reduce the risk of exposure to novel coronavirus is not yet known. Nevertheless, if you are travelling in an affected area, you should follow the advice of local authorities.
Returning from Nepal and you feel unwell
If you feel unwell while travelling to or returning from Nepal, you should consult a doctor as a precaution and tell them of your recent travel plan. If you are in a place to do so, better hurry ahead of time before making an appointment. This may help the doctor study your symptoms & travel plan.
Returning from a Destination with reported cases
At this point, Nepal has well-established processes at entry points for responding to ill travellers, and Nepal has no cause for alarm. Nepal Government already made a decision to report passengers with signs of infectious disease, including fever, sweats or runny nose.
Further reading: WHO Public health emergency