Two patients in Metro Manila are being observed by the Department of Health for possible novel coronavirus or nCov infection. The patients are located at separate hospitals, one in Muntinlupa and another in Pasay. Other patients under investigation for nCov are in Palawan, Camiguin, Leyte, Cebu, and Aklan.
According to the Department of Health, there are now 11 patients under investigation in the Philippines. "We're closely monitoring 11 PUIs (patients under investigation), which means they more often than not presented symptoms with fever, cough colds, some shortness of breath, and a travel history in Wuhan," said health secretary Francisco Duque III in a report by CNN Philippines.
The 11 people may carry the virus based on exposure and symptoms, but are not yet confirmed to have it. Of the 11 cases being investigated, none involve a Filipino patient. The patients under investigation are Chinese, Brazilian, and American nationals.
What is the Novel Coronavirus?
The coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause cold-like symptoms. Among the worst kinds are SARS, which spread from China in 2003, and MERS, which caused an epidemic in 2012. Like SARS and MERS, the 2019-nCov is a respiratory illness.
According to the Center for Disease Control or CDC, symptoms of 2019-nCoV may manifest as early as two days after exposure, with some cases taking as long as 14 days.
What are the symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus?
For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, people may have no symptoms at all or appear severely ill. Symptoms can include:
- shortness of breath
Because some infected people may not manifest symptoms at all and may not be aware that they are carriers of nCov, they could spread the disease not knowing that they have it.
What can you do to prevent infection?
There is currently no vaccine for the 2019-nCov infection. According to the CDC, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. This means staying away from places where known cases or possible cases of nCov have been reported.
For everyday preventive measures against nCov infection, you can do the following:
- Wash your hands and arms with soap, making sure to lather for at least 30 seconds.
- Use rubbing alcohol (70 percent isopropyl) for disinfecting.
- Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if you haven't disinfected or washed your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Quarantine yourself if you are sick. Stay at home.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose of tissue used to cover or wipe your mouth in the trash or keep it in your bag.
- Clean and disinfect your workspace and objects you touch, such as your phone, laptop, doorknobs, pens, and handles, frequently.