HSA monitoring new virus after US case

| 23/01/2020 | 36 Comments
Travellers in China wear protective masks in response to the spread of the virus

(CNS): With one case of a new strain of coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, now reported in the United States, public health officials in the Cayman Islands said they are monitoring the situation surrounding this new respiratory disease, which, it now appears, can be transmitted from human to human. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has issued an alert after more than 500 cases were reported in China, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Eighteen people have now died, all inside China.

“While there have been no local reports of the coronavirus in the Cayman Islands, the Public Health Department is closely monitoring the situation,” said HSA Medical Officer of health Samuel Williams Rodriguez in a press release from the Health Services Authority.

“At the advice of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) we continue to strengthen our surveillance efforts to detect patients with acute respiratory disease and to ensure all health care professionals are up to date with guidance on infection and prevention control, and standard recommendations to prevent infection spread of the disease,” he added. 

“Travellers returning from countries where there have been reported cases, and who develop breathing difficulties that are unexplained by any other illness or virus, should contact a doctor as soon as possible and state their travel history so that a correct diagnosis can be made,” the public health doctor stated.

PAHO has not advised special screening at points of entry or recommended any travel or trade restrictions. But according to international reports, WHO is expected to declare a public health emergency of international concern today or tomorrow.

There is no vaccine available for this virus and treatment is supportive care based on the patient’s symptoms. 

For more information on Acute Respiratory Disease, contact the Public Health Department on 244-2621.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Airline and Immigration staff are not interested or qualified to conduct any kind of medical screening of inbound passengers. It was just as true of past SARS, Norovirus, Ebola scares as it is for Coronavirus. Nobody volunteers a temperature reading – to get themselves kicked off a flight – when they have been traveling all day to get somewhere.

  2. Puritan says:

    Yes 932am the post is absolutely right and is a very good common sense approach and Infact our family members health and safety come first and should be a priority of OUR government and not your and those just like you economic opportunity. Infact and all out ban should put in place immediately to help stop the viruses spreading.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:


      “PAHO has not advised special screening at points of entry or recommended any travel or trade restrictions.”

      So, what good are they doing in this situation? It is obvious that infected people have spread beyond the borders of the quarantined areas. Obviously sick people need to be detained and questioned, at the very least. imo.

  3. No Delusions about getting infected says:

    Time to take decisive action Cayman every body is taking it serious in their home countries Why shouldn’t we .Please put a halt to all coming here from that region now until this is contained. we shouldn’t be punish for their voracious appetites! No travel visa please!

  4. Anonymous says:

    According to the dominant view, the current virus, like, incidentally, SARS seventeen years ago, does not pose a global threat, although, without a doubt, it is a serious disease with a high mortality rate. It is worth recalling that even in 2003, when the epidemic control was not started immediately it led to less than eight and a half thousand infected people (813 people died). It is clear that on a global scale and even China, with its 1.4 billion inhabitants, these are statistically imperceptible indicators. With the new outbreak, the situation is even more favorable.
    What is happening now is important for different reasons. We can say that humanity has once again been lucky with the 2019-nCoV coronavirus. Without presenting a real serious threat, it provides an opportunity for everyone to work out the necessary actions in real conditions: timely hazard identification, quarantine measures in large cities, urgent vaccine development, treatment of patients and much, much more. As historical experience shows, the next time it may not be lucky – and the experience gained will come in handy.

  5. Safety First Cayman says:

    Instead of some in government making useless statements We need to start restricting and stop granting visas and passengers from that region of the world until this virus is contained this a matter of national security Come on Cayman we can do better let’s not allow immigration and financial interest put our lives and health at risk. Put the necessary tools in place to make us safe please, what do you mean monitoring You monitor Until someone get sick and dies. It’s truly sad immigration fees have become more important than.lives WoW!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, please. Delusion of grandeur.

    • Anonymous says:

      Moment of death is an orgasmic experience they say.

    • Anonymous says:

      Put necessary tools in place?
      I have an advice for you-put a face mask on. Face masks and sanitizers are free for anyone to take/use in all healthcare establishments in the US. Take as many as you wish.
      Malls, supermarkets, gyms, airports, schools, you name it, all have hand sanitizers.

      Not sure about Cayman, but the say the monitor it, whatever that means. I hope it at least means that face masks and sanitizers are available everywhere.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Imagine the viruses mutating in the dump!

  7. Anonymous says:

    What exactly does ‘closely monitoring’ mean?

    • Anonymous says:

      It means they made a public statement. Nothing else. They have no means to monitor anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      When you have nothing substantive to to say, you say “closely monitoring”. Perhaps these experts should be having a public campaign on how to limit your chances of contracting any virus! That would be more useful than the usual sound bight.

    • Anonymous says:

      It mean dem nah kno anyting

  8. Anonymous says:

    Based on other reports it appears that part of the problem is the Chinese habit of killing and eating anything that moves or, in plain English, bad food hygiene. It’s also not the coronavirus that’s killing people but pneumonia. That’s a similar situation to some of the bad flu outbreaks (I remember Winter 2003/2004 in the UK was a really nasty one) in the past. If you live in a Chinese village with no proper medical facilities it will probably kill you but if you’ve got access to a decent hospital it doesn’t look like there’s anything to be worried about.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean apart from the human to human transmission and the 35% mortality rate.

      • Anonymous says:

        What 35%? Most recent report (NY Times) is 830 cases & 26 deaths in China. That’s ~3% mortality rate.

        That’s still pretty bad, but we can’t argue over how bad it really is compared to a true epidemic, or even ‘just’ the flu (look up those stats for the US alone), if you’re making up numbers. Stop the FUD.

    • Anonymous says:

      Generalization!!!! To assume 2bil Chinese have bad food hygiene? Publish restaurants inspection reports as it is done in other civil countries and we will see who has bad food hygiene.
      You eat turtles! Disgusting!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Every contagious disease has iIncubation period-the time elapsed between exposure to a pathogenic organism and when symptoms and signs are first apparent.
    So screenings are basically useless. Only total quarantine works.

    When I was growing up in one of the former soviet block countries where all kids were attending kindergartens and day nurseries, if there was an outbreak of a childhood disease, we weren’t allowed to go home until after a quarantine period. Very effective way to stop a disease from spreading! We basically lived in a kindergarten.

    How many died from flu last year by the way?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Break out the Ebola tent!


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