January 31, 2020
Simple steps to prepare for virus
A south Auckland Māori doctor says whānau should be taking some simple steps now to protect against the likely arrival of the Wuhan coronavirus.
The Government has chartered an Air New Zealand flight to collect New Zealanders from Wuhan, which has been locked down by the Chinese government in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus, which has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation.
Rawiri Jansen says because the virus has jumped from animals to human it has not been seen before, so it can be compared to outbreaks like the 1918 influenza epidemic.
He says at this stage the priority is protecting against people who are unwell coming back from China.
"There’s some general sort of protections we should think about – handwashing, being careful of washing or sneezing, we should do those hygiene things It is good for us to get in practice right now, make sure our kids are aware of it and stuff like that. I know schools are doing a good job of contacting people who have been overseas for the holidays. If families have been to China for holidays, hell yes, you stay away for two weeks," he says.
Dr Jansen says when the virus arrives, he expects people will be asked to stay at home if they are unwell.
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