It’s been nearly two months since the emergence of the Novel Corona Virus or 2019-NcoV. Over time, upwards of 76,000 people have been infected, around 98% of which are found in China. The bulk of infections outside of China come from a cruise ship known as the Diamond Princess. The 634 passengers that were on the cruise have been confirmed to have the 2019-NcoV virus.
Aside from that, there are currently 156 cases in South Korea, 94 cases in Japan, 85 in Singapore, and 69 in Hong Kong. Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, and other countries with confirmed cases each have less than 40 cases.
Amidst this outbreak, do you think you should continue your travel plans? One thing is for certain. So far, it’s not safe to travel to China. Other than that, you can continue with your trip as long as you know how to stay away from the 2019-NcoV.
We value the safety of our readers, so if you ask us whether you should travel or not, we highly recommend that you move it to a later date and wait until the 2019 NcoV scare is over.
You can do all the personal hygiene that you can, such as wear masks, disinfect your hands, etc. but you can’t exactly control what other people around you would do.
In line with this, we suggest that you stop yourself from traveling abroad for now. If you have a fever coupled with cough and colds, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
For those who still want to travel, we can offer a few safety measures that can help prevent you from getting infected.
That being said, here’s our Travel Safety Measures for traveling amid the 2019-NcoV scare.
Observe Proper Hygiene
As with most illnesses, regular practice of proper hygiene can help protect you. It’s something that everybody should do naturally but unfortunately, some people disregard its importance in today’s world.
Now, more than ever, washing your hands with soap and water becomes essential. Especially after interacting with people. It would be best if you always have some hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol with you.
Take note: So far, the 2019-NcoV is known to be transmitted through bodily fluids such as sneezes and coughs of an infected person, and via contaminated items. Always making sure that your hands are clean will shield yourself from these.
Aside from washing your hands, it’s also important that you get enough rest. Sleeping for 7 to 8 hours a day will keep your body refreshed and give it an ample amount of recovery time. This also ensures that your immune system won’t be hindered by the lack of sleep. The more rested your body is, the better you can avoid getting sick.
Flu shots and vaccines essentially prepare your immune system to fight against specific strains of diseases. Vaccines work by introducing antigens of the virus into your body. These will then be detected by your immune systems and be eliminated. That strain will be put in your immune system’s watchlist of illnesses to fight once found in your body.
In most cases, vaccines can last for years. But for illnesses that can evolve, such as the flu, you need to be vaccinated annually.
Now with the 2019-NcoV, it’s all the more important to make sure that you are vaccinated to ensure that you won’t get any severe sicknesses that, when paired with the coronavirus, can be difficult to recover from.
As of now, there are no vaccines or standard treatments when it comes to the coronavirus. The best thing that everyone, traveling or not, can do is to prevent themselves from being infected.
Eat Safe Food
Safe food is food that comes from a reliable seller and that is cooked properly. This is important because novel coronaviruses are usually found in animals.
For example, MERS-CoV spilled over from camels, while SARS-CoV came from civet cats. The animal reservoir for 2019-NcoV, however, has yet to be determined.
Making sure that you eat properly cooked food is important to not get any kind of illness, not just the coronavirus from ill-prepared food.
Eating a balanced diet is important to keep your body nourished. A well-nourished body has the energy and the capacity to keep sicknesses at bay, especially with the help of proper hygiene.
Avoid Contact with Sick People
When traveling you can’t exactly choose to not come close to other people. Airports will almost always have many people coming and going from other places. The same goes for ships and travel by bus.
Another thing that you should note is that you can’t easily identify who is sick and who isn’t. Especially since most, if not all of the people traveling are wearing face masks.
To make it easier for you, just be aware of people that get into physical contact with you. When you shake hands with someone, wash it with rubbing alcohol afterward. This further emphasizes the importance of having some alcohol or hand sanitizer with you wherever you go.
Don’t Touch Your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
These are your most sensitive body parts when it comes to viruses and bacteria. This is because these are the openings into your body. These are the parts of your body where you should prevent bacteria and viruses from reaching.
This is the reason why it’s important to wear masks—to cover up your mouth and nose.
When the virus is on your hands and you touch any of these, you give it a one-way trip to your bodily systems.
If you need to do so, make sure that you disinfect your hands first with rubbing alcohol to ensure that any bacteria on your hands will be removed.
Traveling While Sick
Now, as much as we would suggest not to travel when you’re sick, not of the 2019-NcoV, but with some other milder sicknesses, some people need to do so. In those cases here’s what we suggest you do.
- When you cough or sneeze, always cover your mouth. Wear a disposable mask or some tissue with you while traveling. Always dispose of them after use.
- Have a record of your travel history with you. You might need to show it when you’re accused of possibly having the 2019-NcoV.
- If you become sick while traveling, seek immediate medical assistance immediately.
Even though 2019-NcoV seems to mostly be restricted to China, it’s still rather risky to travel, especially to places where there are multiple cases of the virus.
If you want to travel, make sure that it’s in a country where the virus hasn’t been found. In doing so, you minimize the risk of getting it while on vacation.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on traveling to one of the many countries that have confirmed cases, these safety measures should help reduce the risk of getting the sickness