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GEP: Useful Information On The New Corona Virus Strain 2019-NCOV

16.03.2020 Share

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause disease both in animals and humans


Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause disease both in animals and humans. Following a cluster of pneumonia cases in the city of Wuhan in China, the Chinese health authorities reported the novel coronavirus strain, named 2019-nCoV.

From 31st of December 2019 to 15th of March 2020, a total of 151.363 laboratory confirmed cases of the new coronavirus strain were reported, including 5.758 deaths. Most cases are in China (80.995), but several cases have been reported in European and not only countries.


Most likely, the original transmission to humans came from an animal in a market in China. Based on available epidemiological data, it appears that the new coronavirus is transmitted from human to human through droplets excreted from a diseased person, by coughing or sneezing, or by direct or indirect contact with respiratory secretions, through infected hands.

It is not yet known for how long 2019-nCoV is able to survive on the surfaces, but according to the latest data, it seems that it may survive for a few hours. Also, the incubation period, meaning the time between infection and the onset of symptoms, has not been fully determined yet and is roughly estimated to 2-14 days, with an average of about 5 days.

“The New Coronavirus Is Transmitted From Person To Person Through Droplets That Are Excreted When The Patient Coughs Or Sneezes.”


If a person gets infected by the virus, the symptoms may vary from mild, such as those of the common cold, fever, cough, and sore throat, to very serious, such as pneumonia or shortness of breath, while rarely may lead to death. Most vulnerable to the emergence of serious disease are the elderly and people with underlying diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


The first line of defense against infections is the careful hand hygiene. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is therefore recommended.  if the hands are not visibly filthy, alternatively an alcoholic solution (e.g. alcohol 70 ° C) may be used.  In any case, the use of gloves doesn’t replace the hand washing.

Also, the strict observance of hygiene measures is another important preventive measure.  Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding contact with the mouth, nose, or eyes prevents germs from spreading. If there are patients with respiratory symptoms, should be avoided close contact within 1-2 meters.

In the workplace, good ventilation is recommended as well as availability of the following:
  • hand soap and water or alcoholic cleaning solution
  • thermometers
  • tissue paper
  • simple surgical masks
  • disposable gloves
  • garbage bags
  • surface cleaning liquids

The role of the cleaning personnel is very important as it helps to prevent virus transmission. Frequent cleaning of surfaces, such as door handles, toiletries, etc., is required, as well as on the spot cleaning when surfaces are contaminated with biological fluids. Cleaning personnel is advised to use disposable masks, gloves and aprons when cleaning a space that a patient/suspected case has stayed, should not touch the mouth, nose or eyes while working, and should not smoke or eat.