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Should Kenyans Be Worried About The Deadly Coronavirus ?

A new Chinese coronavirus has infected hundreds since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December.

Coronavirus symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache and maybe a fever, which can last for a couple of days.

For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, there’s a chance the virus could cause a lower, and much more serious, respiratory tract illness like pneumonia or bronchitis.

At least 17 people are known to have died from the virus and there are already hundreds of confirmed cases of the virus. It’s not clear how deadly the Wuhan coronavirus will be but experts stress that it will change as the outbreak develops.

Kenya has business ties with China, at least three flights land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where the country’s national carrier Kenya Airways operates two non-stop flights between Nairobi and Guangzhou.

How is  Kenya responding?

On Wednesday, The Ministry of Health has announced that passengers from China, where there is an outbreak, will be screened for the virus.

The ministry has also said that it is waiting for further guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“As a country, we have sent an alert to all the 47 counties through county directors. We have also heightened surveillance at all points of entry and screening has started,” said Acting Public Health Director-General Patrick Amoth at the launch of the Kenya Harmonized Health Facility Assessment report on Wednesday.

How can the virus be stopped?

There is no vaccine, so the only way of stopping the virus spreading is to diagnose people early and treat them in isolation.

Tracing and monitoring people who have come into contact with patients can help prevent further spread.

Further measures could include travel restrictions and banning mass gatherings.







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