What you need to know about coronavirus What you need to know about coronavirus

Before taking alarm due to alerts on the media, learn about what precautions you should take if you are traveling.

The WHO has identified coronavirus as a large family of viruses that can cause anything from a common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). While this virus usually infects animals, it can evolve and spread to humans. According to information from U.S. medical authorities given to the EFE agency, symptoms take 2-14 days to appear and include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, which can develop into pneumonia. There is no vaccine yet to protect humans from the coronavirus.

The epidemiological alert (2019-nCoV) was released on January 16. Its epicenter was identified as the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has 11 million inhabitants. By the end of January, cases had also been reported in China, Japan, Thailand and Korea.

In Colombia, as of the last week of January, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection has not yet confirmed the presence of the coronavirus. The ministry also announced that the protocol for detecting and treating patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome is being applied, and that travelers from China with respiratory symptoms are being monitored.

Similarly, the WHO and the Ministry of Health recommend that travelers with destinations to the continent of Asia seek medical attention if they feel sick during or after their trip. They also recommend taking the following measures:

  •   Wash your hands frequently
  •   Eat foods that are well-cooked
  •   Cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing
  •   Use a face mask if you have cold symptoms
  •   Keep indoor spaces well-ventilated

Related: Tips for preventing respiratory infections