Update on the 2020 Wuhan Coronavirus & Viral Pneumonia
Precautions, Recommendations & Changes in Procedure on 27 January 2020
Dear patients of WL&H,
I am sure that many of you have heard about the recent confirmation of human-to-human transmission of the viral pneumonia from Wuhan and are very worried. I wish to urge everyone to remain calm and to take sensible precautions.
We are monitoring the situation very closely and will begin taking infection control measures in the clinic, such as temperature screening for all patients and making isolation rooms available for patients if necessary. We anticipate that Singapore may start confirming cases of the virus on our shores after Chinese New Year.
The Wuhan Coronavirus leads to patients developing viral pneumonia and seems to have a better prognosis in those affected as compared to SARS. However, the situation may change rapidly with more people being diagnosed daily.
As such, we urge you to take the following precautions:
- Keep on top of your chronic health conditions and ensure that you are well-rested and hydrated.
- Avoid eating the raw salmon in your Yusheng, eat only fully cooked seafood and meat.
- Stay away from crowded places where possible.
- Wear (at minimum) a surgical face mask in public spaces and avoid contact with people who are ill.
- Ensure that hand sanitizers are readily available in your bag, car and at the entrance of your home. Use it liberally.
- Avoid eating and touching your face or nose if you have not washed your hands.
- Wear a face mask for the duration of any air travel and in the airport. Sanitize your hands after touching your face mask and after removal.
- If you have an N95 mask, ensure that it is well sealed, especially if you have a low nose bridge, small face or chin.
- Try going into a small room (like the bathroom) and put the mask on. Adjust it as best as you can and pinch the nose piece tightly. Spray room freshener or a strong cologne liberally around the room and near you and wait for a few minutes. If you can smell the scent, there is likely a leak in the mask. There are soft versions of the N95 mask that will be more suitable for you.
The latest circular from the Ministry of Health has expanded the criteria for notification of suspect cases to:
- A person with clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of pneumonia or severe respiratory infection with breathlessness AND has travelled to mainland China within the last 14 days; or
- A person with an acute respiratory illness of any degree of severity who, within 14 days before the onset of illness, had been to a hospital in mainland China or had close contact with a case of 2019 novel coronavirus infection.
If you fit the criteria above, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Clinical signs that we are looking out for include having a temperature of over 38 degrees Celsius, headaches, a cough, body aches, chills, wheezing and breathlessness. If you think that you fit these criteria, please reach out to us early so that we can make arrangements for you to be treated promptly.
As always, let’s do whatever we can not only to protect ourselves but also the more vulnerable in our community. Keep away from the young, sick and elderly if you are unwell. Be open with your travel or contact history and reach out to us early.
We will be sending out another email on arrangements for the clinic should cases start appearing in Singapore.
Kind regards and take care,
Dr Victoria Lien
Senior Medical Officer
WL&H Medical Services