Severity: Warning Alert

Health: COVID-19 transmission reported in several countries in Eastern Europe and in Russia during early 2020. Maintain basic health precautions.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Azerbaijan

This alert began 08 Apr 2020 22:25 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19); local transmission
  • Location(s): Eastern Europe and Russia (map)
  • Period: February-April 2020

Summary
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission continues in Russia and several countries in Eastern Europe. According to WHO data through April 8, the following countries have identified confirmed COVID-19 cases:

Countries reporting community transmission:

  • Belarus: 861 cases
  • Moldova: 1,056 cases
  • Armenia: 877 cases
  • Azerbaijan: 717 cases
  • Georgia: 208 cases
  • Russia: 7,497 cases nationwide; most cases identified in Moscow
  • Ukraine: 1,668 cases



Background and Analysis
The US CDC maintains a "Warning-Level 3" travel health notice for the global COVID-19 outbreak. This is the highest of three levels and indicates US authorities recommend avoiding all nonessential travel. Furthermore, older individuals and people of any age with chronic medical conditions or otherwise compromised immunity should consider postponing nonessential travel, including domestic travel, and take special precautions to avoid becoming ill, especially where sustained community transmission of COVID-19 has been identified. All individuals should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.

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.

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 coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

US CDC: Guidance for Businesses and Employers: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response

US CDC: Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community

Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak: www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations

US CDC: Manage Anxiety and Stress: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety

US CDC Global COVID-19 Pandemic Travel Notice: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-global

WHO: Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19: www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19

WHO advice for international travel: www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/updated-who-recommendations-for-international-traffic-in-relation-to-covid-19-outbreak