INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC INITIATED IN WUHAN - China
Europ Assistance has issued the following medical advice notice
Dr M. Kalina, EA Group Medical Director
The purpose of this bulletin is to provide all the entities of Europ Assistance, GEB and GGH, and all their clients, with a current summary and analysis of information available both in general media and especially from Chinese and international scientific sources regarding the coronavirus outbreak in and disseminated from Wuhan to other Chinese cities, and to make specific recommendations for each of the client groups, national travelers, expatriates in the targeted areas, and travelers, both corporate and tourists.
This outbreak started officially December 31st in a live animal and fish market in Wuhan and caused relatively few cases, was managed with energetic isolation measures, and showed no evidence of human to human contagion. Recommendations were therefore limited to avoiding contacts with animals and patients, and no travel restrictions were advised by either Chinese or international authorities.
A significant deterioration of the situation was reported by the media over the weekend and confirmed today by the Chinese authorities, including the transmission between human beings. The WHO has not yet alter its report and recommendations. The CDC published a document late on the 20th - They state that given the release of the full genome of the “2019-nCoV” They have begun entry screening of passengers coming from Wuhan to the three main airports of entry in the US. Europ Assistance did through its local medical and operational team become aware of the current situation as reported by the Chinese authorities.
During the last weekend January 18th and 19th 2020, 136 new cases were an important increase in Wuhan. In addition, 2 new cases were confirmed in Beijing, a first case presented in Shenzhen. All three patients travelling history to Wuhan days ago. Five patients who travelled to Wuhan recently and returned to Zhejiang province developed fever and similar respiratory symptoms but haven’t confirmed the original pathogen yet.
Until Beijing time 6PM January 20th, 224 cases of Wuhan pneumonia were reported in Mainland China, among these, 217 cases were confirmed, including 198 cases in Wuhan, 5 cases in Beijing, 14 cases in Guangdong province. Suspicious cases were 7 cases, including 2 cases in Sichuan province, 1 case in Yunnan, 2 cases in Shanghai, 1 case in Guangxi and 1 cases in Shandong. At least four deaths had occurred at that time. In addition 1 out of 2 suspicious cases in Shanghai was just confirmed. Outside of China, 1 confirmed case was reported in Japan, 2 cases in Thailand and 1 case in Korea, with travel history from Wuhan.
Every hospital in mainland China was pushed by the local Health Bureau to schedule ER and outpatient protocols in order to identify suspicious cases early, paying attention to patients with fever, to travel history to Wuhan and to contact sick patients. An official confirmation of human to human transmission has just been made.
Europ Assistance Recommendations
In these circumstances Europ Assistance recommendations, taking into account the unavoidable increase of in-country travel during the Chinese New Year festivities are at this stage to first and foremost avoid any contact with patients with Wuhan flu, and more generally with patients with cough and fever are the use of masks in mass transport. This is also recommended to national clients.
In addition for expatriate patients planning to remain in the country one would suggest to avoid exposure to mass transport, visits to hospitals and clinics, as well as to markets with live fish and animals. Evacuation is not recommended at this stage. For those outside the country and for non-essential travel the recommendation is to delay travel for a few days until the information regarding this epidemic is more reliable. Should travel be essential strict adherence to the public health measures enforced by the Chinese authorities is recommended.
Our internal procedures will be from now until further advise to ensure negative test for "2019-nCoV" has been carried out for any EA patient with respiratory disease, who travels by air (air ambulance or commercial carrier) from China to any other country
The current bulletin will be updated daily until the situation stabilizes.