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Covid-19 virus image.

Novel Coronavirus Situation Update

Since a pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan was first reported to the WHO Country Office in China on the 31 of December last year, it has set the world on edge. Since the early reports of the virus, as of the 4th of March, it has infected 95,300 people worldwide with most deaths occurring in mainland China.

In the United States, person-to-person spread of COVID-19 was first reported among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan. On the third week of February, CDC reported community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in California, Oregon, and Washington. Community spread in Washington resulted in the first death in the U.S. from COVID-19, as well as the first reported case of the virus in a health care worker, and the first potential outbreak in a long-term care facility.

Understanding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Covid-19 virus image.Coronaviruses come from a large family of viruses that are common in people and many other different species of animals including cattle, camels, bats, and cats. It is rare for animal coronaviruses to infect people and then spread from person to person such as with MERS-CoVSARS-CoV, and now with this COVID-19.

Illustration of ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. | CDC

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus, and we are learning more about it every day. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it.

Reported illnesses have varied from mild to severe. Clinical statistics indicate that the dominant symptoms of COVID-19 are fever and cough. COVID-19 has a lower case fatality rate (1.4%) than was recently reported, and people infected with the virus who were mildly ill and did not find the need to seek medical attention were not part of the study, which could mean an even lower fatality rate.

COVID-19 cases from China suggests serious illness occurs in only 16% of cases with older people and people with certain underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through good hygiene practice is the best way to keep people healthy.

WHO covid-19 infographics.

WHO guidelines against getting sick.

Schools play a vital role in helping contain COVID-19

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, while speaking at the COVID-19 media briefing on the 2nd of March, emphasized that the virus is capable of community transmission but can be contained by following the proper precautions.

Schools play an important part in slowing the spread of diseases.  KCP International is keeping abreast of all developments regarding COVID-19 from the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, and local health departments in Japan and the United States. KCP is here to help ensure that students have safe and healthy learning environments. KCP acts responsibly in serving students, staff, and visitors throughout the community.

Risk assessment in Japan and the U.S.

The whole of Japan has taken drastic measures against the spread of COVID-19. Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s request last week that schools nationwide cancel classes following the virus outbreak, many have heeded his request including KCP. KCP has also implemented necessary precautions concerning how classes are to be conducted such as online studies, as well as observing health and sanitary procedures in the KCP campus as part of the measures taken to prevent infection.

Back in the home front, travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring are considered at elevated risk of exposure.

Let’s all work together in staying vigilant in keeping safe from COVID-19.

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Read all about Japanese immersion learning and studying abroad. Check out our eZasshi archives for more articles!