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WHO is investigating 1,716 well being staff in China contaminated with coronavirus


A nurse in a protecting swimsuit feeds a coronavirus affected person inside an remoted ward at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan College on February 8, 2020.

China Every day by way of Reuters

World well being officers are working with Chinese language authorities to find out when the 1,716 well being staff within the nation had been contaminated with the COVID-19 coronavirus, World Well being Group officers mentioned Friday.

It seems infections amongst medical staff peaked in mid-January and have “quickly” decreased since, Dr. Mike Ryan, government director of the World Well being Group’s emergencies program, mentioned at a information convention on the company’s headquarters in Geneva. “This will likely mirror elevated ranges of coaching, elevated ranges of safety and elevated ranges of consciousness.”

Officers are additionally seeking to see whether or not the medical staff had been uncovered to the virus unknowingly inside a scientific setting and whether or not they had been sporting protecting tools on the time, Ryan mentioned. “There are a complete lot of things we have to take a look at, and we will probably be doing that with Chinese language authorities.”

Just how contagious is the coronavirus

Earlier within the day, China’s Nationwide Well being Fee mentioned that 1,716 well being staff within the nation had been contaminated with the coronavirus and 6 of them have died. It was the primary time China revealed figures particularly referring to contaminated medical personnel.

Dr. Sylvie Briand, head of WHO’s World Infectious Hazard Preparedness division, instructed reporters that the well being staff could have been fatigued on the time they had been contaminated and weren’t taking correct protecting measures as a result of they had been too drained. China has despatched medical professionals from a number of areas to assist these staff, she mentioned.

Later Friday, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s Nationwide Heart for Immunization and Respiratory Ailments, instructed reporters on a convention name that the discover from China of the well being staff being contaminated was “regarding.” She mentioned there are at present no well being staff within the U.S. which have contracted the virus.

WHO is asking suppliers of protecting gear to prioritize sending the tools to areas most affected by the virus.

Final week, WHO mentioned it despatched medical provides equivalent to masks, gloves, robes and diagnostic exams world wide. It’s discouraging stockpiling of protecting gear, saying the restricted variety of gadgets should be saved for areas most affected by the virus. The worth of protecting gear has elevated, whereas availability has decreased, WHO officers mentioned.

That might have a “knock-on impact” for different ongoing epidemics equivalent to Ebola, Ryan mentioned final week.

On Thursday, world well being officers mentioned they had been scrambling to find out simply how widespread the brand new coronavirus is as Chinese language authorities reported a surge in new instances after altering how they depend confirmed infections.

“How large is the iceberg?” Ryan mentioned. “We do know, and all of us settle for, that there’s transmission occurring at some degree in communities. We have all seen these clusters, we have all seen these tremendous spreading occasions.”

The flu-like virus has killed at the very least 1,380 individuals and sickened greater than 64,000 worldwide as of Friday morning.

World well being officers have mentioned the respiratory illness is able to spreading by way of human-to-human contact, droplets carried by way of sneezing and coughing and germs left on inanimate objects. The coronavirus produces gentle chilly signs in about 80% of sufferers, they mentioned. About 15% of the individuals who contract the virus have ended up with pneumonia, with 3% to five% of all sufferers needing intensive care.

Ryan mentioned Thursday that officers are engaged on figuring out the virus’s pure host. Earlier within the week, WHO officers mentioned the virus, which emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan, probably originated in bats after which jumped to an “intermediate host” earlier than infecting people.

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