Health watchdogs monitor China virus
Health authorities are monitoring the risk of a potential killer virus reaching Bermuda.
The new strain of coronavirus, discovered in China, made headlines after it was reported in other Asian countries and the United States.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said: “The current threat to Bermuda residents is low.
“However, due to the significant travel into and out of Bermuda, the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit considers the threat level to the island to be ‘guarded’.
“The situation is quite dynamic and could raise the threat to ‘elevated’ in a short span of time.”
Although cases have been recorded elsewhere, only Wuhan, China, the capital of Hubei province, is known to have widespread infection.
She said: “Bermuda’s routine public health surveillance activities have been increased through the well-established collaborations between the ESU and the hospital, physician offices, customs and immigration departments.
“Enhanced monitoring of patients presenting with respiratory illnesses will continue, guided by recommendations from World Health Organisation and our regional authorities, Pan American Health Organisation and Caribbean Public Health Agency.”
The new coronavirus — a cousin of Sars and Mers, which were blamed for killing hundreds of people in dozens of countries — has been found in 13 Chinese provinces along with Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Washington State.
Those who have fallen ill have complained of coughs, fever and breathing problems.
China has reported 440 cases of the virus and nine deaths.
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