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Coronavirus outbreak in Africa?

ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) prepares to provide support to national authorities to limit the possible spread in Africa.

A new virus from the coronavirus family, NCoV 2019, appeared in December 2019 in China, and has now spread to 16 countries. According to the World Health Organization, as of January 29th, 2020, 6,065 people have been infected, including 132 deaths.

Symptoms that may indicate a coronavirus infection include coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, diarrhea and kidney failure in some patients. In some cases, this virus can be fatal. The best way to protect yourself and others is to wash your hands often, and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

Within Africa, authorities say there is now a risk of the coronavirus spreading, due to the large number of travellers within and outside the continent.

In coordination with national and international health authorities, ALIMA and our teams on the ground (doctors, medical staff, researchers, etc.) are already preparing to provide medical care for possible imported cases, and also to prevent the occurrence of a possible outbreak in Africa.

“Prevention is essential in order to limit the spread of an outbreak, as well as the preparation of health personnel who are among the first to be exposed and who must react quickly to a suspected case,” said Dr. Richard Kojan, intensive care specialist and President of ALIMA. “ALIMA teams are already working in the field to respond to the possible care of infected patients or the occurrence of an outbreak in Africa.”

*Cover photo: © John Wessels / ALIMA

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