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Coronavirus information letter

29th January 2020

Dear Parents,

With the recent global health issue that has been causing a new health crisis amongst people worldwide, we at United Academy feel responsible to take all preventive measures for our students and faculties, in order to ensure that each one of our members is well educated and aware about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Hence, we take this opportunity to address important information on the Wuhan Coronavirus, so that families at home can also implement the stated preventive measures to ensure protection against the outbreak.

The Wuhan Coronavirus, as confirmed by the WHO, is a newly discovered respiratory illness, having no match with any other known virus. The new virus which was later temporarily termed 2019- nCoV was identified as a coronavirus, which is a larger family of viruses that include common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). 

Reported symptoms of the virus have been identified as fever in 90% of cases, fatigue and dry cough in 80%, shortness of breath in 20%, respiratory distress in 15%. In addition, blood tests have commonly shown low white blood cell counts. 

Since the virus does not have any identification with the existing coronaviruses, the mode of transmission is still a topic under study. However, in many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by 2019-nCoV in Wuhan, China had some link to large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal- to- person transmission. But, a growing number of patients have reported not having any form of exposure to animal markets, highly indicating that person- to- person spread is occurring. 

WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of Novel Coronavirus include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of a novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

We, at United Academy, hope that our small effort to create awareness about the virus outbreak can help all students, faculties and parents to ensure one’s safety while also of the people around. Consult with your school nurse or health supervisor if you are unwell and apprehensive about the symptoms.