ALGORITHM OF ACTIVITIES FOR PREVENTION AND TREATMENT IN CASE OF SUSPICION OF EXPOSURE TO INFECTION WITH NEW CROWN VIRUS 2019 – nCoV
Coronavirus belongs to a group of viruses that cause disease ranging from mild colds (which are the most common) to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). They were first isolated in 1962 and have been proven to cause disease in mammals and birds since then. There are corona viruses that cause the disease only in animals. Corona virus infections are common in the human population. It is estimated that viruses from this group cause about half of all respiratory infections in humans. The new corona virus (nCoV) belongs to the same subgroup of viruses as the already known coronaviruses (MERS-CoV and SARS-Cov). According to available information, interhuman transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Human coronaviruses are transmitted from an infected person through the air (coughing and sneezing), close personal contact (touching or handling), or touching objects or surfaces containing the virus, and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes before washing hands and rarely fecal contamination.
The average length of incubation recorded in the epidemic in China is 7 days (minimum 2 days and maximum 12-14 days).
The new virus causes mild to moderate discomfort in the upper respiratory tract, so it looks like a common cold.
The most common symptoms are:
- runny nose,
- a headache, a cough,
- a sore throat,
- and a general feeling of ill health.
However, in people with weak immunity, in the elderly and young children, there is a possibility that this virus can affect the lower respiratory organs, so pneumonia or bronchitis can develop. In some cases, it leads to lung or kidney failure, and even death is possible.
- Wash your hands regularly with warm water and liquid soap for at least 20 seconds
- Disposable wipes and proper disposal of used ones
- Use of hand sanitizers
- Use a protective mask over the mouth and nose
It is also necessary if you have cold symptoms to protect other people by:
- avoid close contact with others,
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash
- and wash your hands,
- clean and disinfect objects and surfaces in your environment.
On the last day of 2019, the Chinese health authorities informed the WHO about the occurrence of several cases of respiratory infections in people in the city of Wuhan. A new corona virus (2019-nCoV) has been identified as the cause of the disease. On February 6, 2020, a total of 28,284 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with the new corona virus were reported worldwide, including 565 deaths. There are 28 confirmed cases of infection in Europe.
In the Republic of Serbia, measures are implemented in accordance with the Law on Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases and the International Health Regulations, which include surveillance of travelers coming from hotspots of the new corona virus (Buhan, Hubei Province-China) and, if necessary, isolation of patients and health surveillance of contacts. .
Serbian citizens are advised to cancel or postpone their trip to the city of Wuhan and the province of Hubei in China. If traveling to this area, the following measures are recommended: avoid contact with persons who have signs of respiratory infection; avoiding staying in a space where there are a large number of people; enhanced and frequent hand hygiene; it may be recommended to wear masks over the mouth and nose if staying in an area where a large number of people are staying; avoiding contact with live or dead wild or domestic animals; travelers coming from the affected area, if they have signs of a respiratory infection should contact their doctor with a travel note.
Prevention and control measures taken to prevent or limit the transmission of nCoV in health facilities include:
- Early detection and control of infection sources
- Application of standard precautions for all patients
- Application of empirical additional precautions (for droplet and contact pathways) and air precautions as pathways whenever possible
- Administrative infection control measures
- Hospital environment control measures and architectural measures.
When examining persons with respiratory infection or suspected respiratory infection, and especially in persons who have symptoms and signs of lower respiratory tract infection or are at risk of developing severe acute respiratory disease, health personnel are obliged to apply standard protection measures, as well as protection measures against droplet-borne and contact-borne infections, which include the following:
- Use of a protective mask (surgical) over the mouth and nose
- Use of gloves when examining at risk of contact with mucous membranes or body fluids of an infected person
- Use of a protective coat
- Wash hands with warm water and liquid soap for at least 20 seconds, after examination, or after any unprotected contact with mucous membranes or body fluids of the patient
- Application of all principles of safe injection
- Use disposable materials and equipment whenever possible
- Disinfection of reusable equipment with 70% alcohol immediately after use
- Avoid touching mouth, nose and eyes with potentially contaminated hands
- Disinfection of surfaces with which the patient came into contact
- Routine disinfection of surfaces in rooms for working with patients
- Reduce the number of staff who come into contact with patients who have symptoms and signs of respiratory infections to the minimum required
- Application of measures for safe management of infectious waste.
The medical staff with whom a person with symptoms and signs of respiratory infection first comes into contact is obliged, according to the risk assessment, to first take epidemiological data on possible exposure to infection with the new corona virus 2019-nCoV, and at least the following:
- as the person traveled in the last 14 days to areas where there have been confirmed cases of infection caused by the new corona virus
- Has the person been in contact in the last 14 days with a person or persons who have been confirmed infected or suspected of being infected with a new corona virus
- Has the person visited health facilities in the last 14 days where people with a confirmed infection have been treated or has a new coronavirus infection been suspected.
If the epidemiological anamnesis provides an affirmative answer to any of the above questions, after providing medical assistance with the application of all protection measures, the patient should put a mask over his mouth and nose, and then transfer him to the isolation room. Inform the epidemiologist of the territorially competent institute / public health institute immediately in order to coordinate further proceedings.
In the isolation room, the patient should be given instructions on respiratory hygiene measures (use of handkerchiefs when sneezing or coughing) and be allowed to wash their hands with warm water and soap. Prevent other patients from entering the isolation room, as well as staff who are not necessary to provide medical care.
All invasive procedures (taking blood or urine for laboratory examination, giving injections, taking samples for laboratory confirmation of infection) are performed in the isolation room with the application of all prescribed protection measures.