Elderly are more vulnerable to Covid-19 Virus

Latest Update Jan 31 2020 6:25PM SGT

As reported in Strait Times website: “All travellers arriving from mainland China who had been there in the past 14 days, as well as anyone with a China passport, will be barred from entry or transit in Singapore, as the nation ramps up measures to keep the Wuhan virus at bay. The new measures will kick in at 11.59pm on Saturday (Feb 1).”

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Elderly should be aware that most of the deaths in China are “elderly and unwell”, as reported by Business Insider Singapore, noting however a recent victim was 36-years old. Given the reporting, it is important that seniors, especially those that have other ailments and chronic diseases, are aware that they are at risk and more susceptible. Here is what we know so far as of January 31 2020.

  • WHO has now declared “the new coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)“. What this means is that it signals the urgency of the outbreak and that “a global coordinated effort is needed” to fight this.
  • By comparison, the number infected has exceeded SARS with about 10,000 infected worldwide primarily in China with more than 200 dead. Outside of China, at least 22 countries has reported confirmed cases. At this time (12:07pm Jan 31 2020), the confirmed cases in Singapore has risen to 13, all from Wuhan. The government task force has acted swiftly to issue urgent advisories to all major agencies on how to deal with the Wuhan virus including stopping all flights to and from Wuhan – however, travel to other parts of China is still not affected.
  • Good news is that the Wuhan virus may be less lethal than SARS (SARS had 33 fatalities in 2003 in Singapore). Current experts indicate that the incubation period is 14 days with symptoms that include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath. No specific treatment or anti-viral drug for the Wuhan virus is currently available.

What is important is to stay calm and be informed. Beware of fake news and rumors designed to get attention and cause fear. For the most up-to-date official government information, go to https://www.gov.sg/article/what-is-the-wuhan-coronavirus. If you are visiting a clinic or hospital and you have symptoms and/or travelled to China recently, you should call first for instructions. Best to avoid crowded places for now, if possible and reconsider all travel to China. The government is also distributing free face masks next week and each household can get up to 4 pieces.

(Photo: WHO website)

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