Monday 21 September, 2020

Cayman health officials step up surveillance amid coronavirus outbreak

Local public health officials have assured residents that they are monitoring the situation in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.

Over 40 cases have been reported in China, Thailand and Japan since January 2020,” noted Dr Samuel Williams Rodriguez, Medical Officer of Health.
And as at January 21, there has been one reported case in the US.

As China moved to close down cities to stop the spread of the killer virus, Dr Rodriguez assured that Cayman has stepped up its surveillance to detect potential cases.

He said: "While there have been no local reports of the coronavirus in the Cayman Islands, the public health department is closely monitoring the situation. At the advice of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), we continue to strengthen our surveillance efforts to detect patients with acute respiratory disease and to ensure all health care professionals are up to date with guidance on infection and prevention control, and standard recommendations to prevent infection spread of the disease.

“Travellers returning from countries where there have been reported cases, and who develop breathing difficulties that are unexplained by any other illness or virus, should contact a doctor as soon as possible and state their travel history so that a correct diagnosis can be made."

There is currently no vaccine available and treatment is supportive care based on the patient’s symptoms.

The Pan American Health Organization has so far not advised special screening at points of entry, nor recommended any travel or trade restrictions.

A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

For more information on Acute Respiratory Disease, contact the Cayman Public Health Department on 244-2621.

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