Health: Additional cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reported Feb. in Dubai, UAE. All are hospitalized in isolation; risk to public is low.

Severity: Informational Alert

This alert affects Dubai

This alert began 12 Feb 2020 22:08 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases
  • Location(s): Dubai (map)
  • Period: January - February 2020
  • Cases: 8

Summary
Authorities in the United Arab Emirates identified four additional confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Jan. 29-Feb. 11, bringing the total to eight cases. Most of these cases were imported by travelers arriving from China; however, at least one case was locally acquired by an individual following close contact with an imported case. All infected individuals were hospitalized in isolation, likely in Dubai. Risk to the wider public is considered low. This report represents the most complete data available as of Feb. 12.

Background and Analysis
Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission is occurring, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people. Preliminary investigations indicate the course of illness is not as severe as seasonal influenza, nor as contagious.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Advice
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO advice for international travel

WHO coronavirus knowledge base

 

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