Coronavirus : situation report

24/03/2020

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Dear travelling families,

We are all impacted by the viral epidemic currently affecting several continents.

Faithful to its values, Little Guest supports you in these difficult times, follows the evolution of the situation from hour to hour, and wishes more than ever to inform families as well as possible.

 

 

For more information on temporary travel bans, you can consult this list.

 

We must, however, keep a cool head:

  • We know the origin of the virus
  • The screening tests are perfectly developed
  • The healing curve continues to increase
  • Children are mostly not affected
  • Basic principles of hygiene render the virus inoperable
  • Prototype vaccines already exist

 

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses constitute a large family of viruses found in humans and animals. The ones which affect humans can result in various manifestations ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory pathologies.

 

How dangerous is the new coronavirus?

First appearing in China, and better known under the name, 2019-nCoV, this new coronavirus could be even more dangerous for certain at-risk populations, that is to say: the elderly, and people already suffering from other diseases ( such as diabetes and heart disease).

According to the World Health Organization, the mortality rate for Covid-19 is approximately 2 %, well below that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which, with a mortality rate of 9.6%, had claimed the lives of 774 victims in 2003, before being quickly brought under control.

This coronavirus also has a relatively moderate infectivity index: 2, compared to 17.6 for the rotavirus which causes gastroenteritis.

Overall, the coronavirus is relatively benign, as Daniel Camus of the Pasteur Institute in Lille points out.

 

What are the risks for children?

As UNICEF point out, few children have contracted the disease so far, and the recorded deaths mainly concern older people already affected by other pathologies.

This should obviously not prevent you from applying the usual precautions.

You can find more information here.

Safe medic kids holidays

 

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are just like those of a common cold, or flu, which currently affects the northern hemisphere.

According to the data collected, the time between infection with the new coronavirus and the appearance of the first symptoms can be up to 14 days.

 

How is it spread?

The WHO reports that this respiratory virus is mainly spread through droplets emitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes, thus, it is spread through droplets of saliva or nasal secretions. The virus cannot, therefore, spread over long distances.

Some common misconceptions:

  • There is a danger in handling packages from Asia: according to the WHO, this type of virus does not survive for long on objects, such as letters or packages. People who receive this type of shipment are therefore not at risk of contracting the disease. Simple disinfectants can kill the virus, thus preventing it from infecting other people.
  • Mosquitoes are believed to be vectors for the disease: to date, there is no information or evidence suggesting that 2019-nCov could be transmitted by these insects.
  • Pets are particularly susceptible to 2019-nCoV: at this time, we have no evidence that pets, such as dogs or cats, can be infected with the new coronavirus.

To dissect the true from the false, we invite you to check out this page.

« We are carrying out day-to-day monitoring of the situation, and our travel designers are working non-stop, even more than ever, to continually guarantee families an extraordinary holiday in our hotels »

 

How to guard oneself from being infected?

Firstly, ensure that your child is up to date with his/her vaccines to protect against disease-causing viruses and bacteria.

Some simple everyday measures can prevent the spread of unwanted pathogens:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness (for example, coughing and sneezing)

If you are returning from a trip to a contaminated area, and you feel sick, call your general practitioner (family doctor) and report your trip and symptoms. Do not go to his waiting room or emergency room.

The WHO recommends that you only use a medical mask, if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing), if you think you may have contacted the 2019-nCoV infection with mild symptoms, or if you are taking care of a person suspected to have been infected with 2019-CoV.

 

Are there any medications against this infection?

Currently, there is no medicine that treats the new coronavirus infections, however, optimized supportive care in the hospital environment is currently yielding satisfactory results.

Specific treatments are, of course, being studied and prototype vaccines are being developed for testing in the clinical setting.

Note that a team of researchers has just modelled the protein of the new coronavirus in 3D using a new imaging technique. This protein is a key component in preparing the immune system to prevent infection by the virus. See the writeup in the Science journal.

 

In conclusion

Let us not give in to panic, and let us respect the precautionary advice necessary to stop this epidemic.

We are discovering new patients every day, as the authorities are putting in place the necessary controls, but the number of people being cured is also increasing at a steady rate.

We are following up the situation on a day-to-day basis, and our travel designers working non-stop, even more than ever to continue guaranteeing families extraordinary holidays in our hotels. 

Therefore, in order to help you make your choice and enjoy your holiday despite the circumstances, we have written an article with our best advice on how to travel serenely during the Covid-19 period!

 

For more information: 

  • Daily status reports are available on the World Health Organization (WHO) website at this address
  • You can also check out the epidemiological evolution in real-time thanks to this map, designed by John Hopkins University
  • The Belgian Foreign Affairs website centralises the information that are important for travellers here
  • For more information on travel bans, you can also consult this list.

 

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