Сoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 and medical treatment in Israel

Dear friends,


The Ministry of Health has issued guidelines due to the spread of the infection caused by the new coronavirus COVID-19, both in China and in other countries. This guidelines has been done in order to prevent coronavirus spread in Israel as much as possible.


According to the recommendations of the management, only tourists from China, that is, anyone who arrives from China in the last 14 days, are required to be home quarantined.


Anyone who has come from one of the following countries: China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea or Macau in the last 14 days and having one of the following symptoms: fever up to 38 ° C or higher, cough, breathing problems or any other respiratory symptoms, should contact nearest medical center. Call in advance and inform them of your arrival. Keep your nose and mouth covered with a face mask or any other tissue, avoid close contact with people, and avoid travel by public transport.


Frequently asked questions about the new coronavirus

Coronavirus infection is a new, dynamically evolving situation. The Ministry of Health monitors this situation and updates the recommendations accordingly.


What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus belongs to a large family of viruses. It causes certain diseases in animals, and can also cause disease in humans. The name “coronavirus” was assigned to the virus because of its similarity to the corona when viewed under an electron microscope. The severity of a person’s disease depends on the specific viral chain of this family and ranges from a mild illness, such as a cold, to a serious illness that can affect the lungs and lead to multiple organ failure, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).


Coronavirus has not previously been identified as the cause of the disease in humans. In December 2019, it was identified as the causative agent of a group of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province, central China, and was later found to spread to other provinces of China as well as other countries. By its genetic composition, the SARS virus, which caused severe morbidity in 2003/4, is most similar to the new virus in China among all other coronaviruses that cause disease in humans.


The World Health Organization has decided on the official name of the virus – SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes – COVID-19.


How is new coronavirus transmitted to humans?

The vast majority of patients worked or visited the Wuhan animal and seafood market. This explains the spread of the virus from animal to human. The animal causing the infection is not exactly identified. The spread of the virus from person to person has not been identified. The infection is likely to be caused by exposure to respiratory secretions during sneezing or coughing. How contagious the infection remains is unclear, but its spread is similar to the flu. It also remains unclear whether people can infect others before symptoms appear. As you know, this happens with other viral infections.


Symptoms of a coronavirus infection

Symptoms of a new coronavirus infection are similar to flu-like symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, and respiratory failure. Infection can lead to acute pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), kidney failure, and death. The percentage of severe cases is not yet known.


How is coronavirus infection diagnosed?

The infection is diagnosed using a laboratory test of respiratory secrets. Only people suspected of having the virus and who develop symptoms are tested. Only the attending physician of the medical center can send samples for testing after obtaining permission from the district doctor of the Ministry of Health.


How serious is coronavirus disease?

Clinical data about the new disease is not yet complete. Data from China indicate that in most cases the disease is mild. 20% of diagnosed patients develop complications, and mortality is approximately 2% of patients. It is likely that not all infected in China are diagnosed. The risk factors for serious illness are also not clear. Currently available information indicates that the disease is more severe among the elderly and people with impaired immune systems or chronic diseases.


Is there a cure for coronavirus infection?

There is currently no specific treatment for a new coronavirus infection. People infected with coronavirus receive supportive care, and medical care is provided depending on the patient’s health status.


Is there a vaccine for the new coronavirus?

There is no vaccine against coronavirus. Several groups around the world are trying to develop a vaccine, but an effective vaccine is coming soon.


Source: Israel Ministry of Health website. “Guidance for travelers returning from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, or Macau”.

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