Severity: Warning Alert
Health: Several countries in Western Pacific report COVID-19 cases since January 2020. Maintain basic health precautions.
Alert Begins 23 Sep 2020 01:40 PM UTC
Alert Expires 23 Nov 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19); local transmission
- Location(s): Western Pacific (map)
- Period: January-September 2020
- Transmission: Respiratory (coughing, sneezing, speaking)
Several countries and territories in the Western Pacific continue to report coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission. According to data through Sept. 21 from the WHO, the following countries and territories in the Western Pacific have identified confirmed COVID-19 cases:
- Macau SAR: 46 cases (Last case reported: April 1)
- Brunei Darussalam: 145 cases (Last case reported: Sept. 14)
- French Polynesia: 2,117 cases
Clusters of cases:
- South Korea: 23,216 cases
- Hong Kong SAR: 5,050 cases
- Philippines: 294,591 cases*
- Papua New Guinea: 516 cases
- Northern Mariana Islands: 68 cases
*As of Sept. 21, the number of active cases is increasing.
Background and Analysis
Additional cases may be added to this list at any time as disease surveillance and testing continues. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a "Warning-Level 3" travel health notice for the global COVID-19 pandemic. 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 and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission does occur, primarily through respiratory droplets from infected individuals or contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
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.
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.
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