4 February 2020
The St Helena Health Directorate continues to liaise with Public Health England, the World Health Organisation and key on-Island stakeholders to monitor the spread of the Coronavirus globally and take protective action for St Helena.
The current risk assessment is low for our community.
In place is a questionnaire which must be completed for those arriving by air, with heightened vigilance for those who have been to or interacted with people particularly from China where the virus has originated. The Health Directorate is on alert for those with flu-like symptoms who are travelling to St Helena.
The virus symptoms are flu-like but a person can be a carrier without symptoms for up to two weeks. Many recover from the virus but the elderly and those with comorbidities are at a higher risk. Infection is also airborne and can be passed on to others who are in close contact (within two metres).
There is no vaccination at present and the Health Directorate currently has test kits on order that will rule out other illnesses for those showing flu like symptoms.
Director of Health, Ted Rayment, said:
“We recommend that our people avoid non-essential travel to China. Travelers who get ill while travelling in China may have limited access to timely and appropriate health care.
“We have a good inventory of personal protective equipment ordered during the Ebola concerns. Our advice to the general public is to ensure infection control with hand washing and disinfection solutions. Avoid close contact with people suffering from respiratory infections. People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing and wash hands).
“We will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.”
#StHelena #Coronavirus #AltogetherHealthier
4 February 2020