A day after the first case of infection in the United States , the countries of the region adopted preventive measures against the new coronavirus , which keeps the Chinese city of Wuhan isolated, where the epidemic that spreads rapidly in Asia originated.
The global alarm was given by the director of the Department of Public Health and Environment of the World Health Organization (WHO), María Neira , who said that the main concern with the virus is that it is spread among humans , which would increase its expansion .
The Chinese authorities confirmed the death of 17 people in the central province of Hubei, because of the new coronavirus (called 2019-nCoV ), which already has 444 cases in various parts of the country. Contagions were also reported in Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Japan and the United States. While Mexico and Colombia study the possible cases.
All cases confirmed so far have an epidemiological link with the city of Wuhan , where the outbreak originated.
In Ecuador , health authorities ruled out the presence of the coronavirus . However, measures were taken to prevent its importation and contagion.
María Fernanda Vida l, an infectologist from Zone 8 of the Ministry of Health , explained that it is a new virus that causes serious respiratory diseases , such as pneumonia , that can even cause death in more vulnerable patients . It is a virus very similar genetically to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ( SARS ) that was registered in 2002-2003, he detailed.
Then its rapid dissemination exceeded the response capacity of health facilities , especially Southeast Asia, a few weeks after the epidemic began . 7,761 cases were reported with 623 deaths in 28 countries of the world.
Precisely, due to its characteristics and easy propagation by air, it is necessary to maintain greater prevention and controls, especially in the entrance areas of the country, said Freddy Aveiga , head of the Epidemiological Surveillance area of the General Hospital of the Social Security Ceibos , at North of Guayaquil.
Aveiga stressed that it is a new virus that is adapting and mutating, which is a challenge for health authorities, since its origin, extent of transmission and effective treatment to prevent infection are still unknown.
Ecuador constantly maintains surveillance of cases with symptoms of severe respiratory diseases . In addition, there is the National Influenza Committee that coordinates actions to analyze viral behavior.
In other countries of the region, such as in Mexico , special attention will be given to international airports such as those in Monterrey, Cancun and Guadalajara , where direct flights arrive from China , where the first cases of this virus were detected.
The Government of Nicaragua also announced that it will strengthen its epidemiological surveillance , to prevent a possible entry of the virus that has already left six dead and hundreds infected in China.
Nicaragua will carry out sanitary controls “for every person” that enters the country with symptoms of respiratory conditions, the first lady also added. In addition, travelers arriving from China, South Korea, the United States, Japan and Thailand will pass through health control , said Health Minister Carolina Dávila.
And the Guatemalan Ministry of Health reported that it enabled a kiosk at its main airport to monitor and detect possible outbreaks of the coronavirus .
In Colombia , the Ministry of Health said they work to maintain the surveillance required in these cases. “We also keep the alerts to activate the care protocols , the risk is low, but we are prepared with all the rigor.”