Coronavirus or COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc across the globe. The infection started in Wuhan province of China and has now spread to over 200 countries and still counting. Europe, specifically Italy, Spain, and Netherlands, and United States has been the worst hit. As on April 12, 2020, there are approximately 560,115 confirmed cases of Coronavirus or COVID-19 in the United States with 22,000 deaths and 30,502 people have completely recovered. As far as world figures are concerned, there are over 1,850, 220 active cases and more than 100,000 deaths reported.
Even though the mortality rate of Coronavirus or COVID-19 is quite low at about 3-4% when compared to the other more serious diseases within the coronavirus family, namely SARS and MERS, the rapid rate at which COVID-19 spreads is alarming and is the cause of a worldwide lockdown that we are witnessing today.
Coronavirus is known to physicians since the 1960’s and is responsible for causing majority of the cough and cold that people are used to. However, this new strain of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a little different in that this strain also affects the lung in the vulnerable population. People above the age of 60 or with premorbid condition like uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension, asthma all carry increased risk of having complications due to Coronavirus or COVID-19.
Additionally, people with a compromised immune system are also at high risk for serious complications due to Coronavirus or COVID-19 infection. Another fact about the Coronavirus or COVID-19 virus is that it may infiltrate the body of a person but there may be no symptoms of it but the virus can still spread. These people are called carriers of the infection.
As of now the characteristics of the COVID-19 virus is still being studied. There is no vaccine or treatment for this infection aside from self-isolation and quarantine to prevent the spread of the infection and providing symptomatic treatment to the patients. Whether a person should travel during the Coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak or not is what has been detailed in the article below.
Should I Travel During The Coronavirus Disease Outbreak?
According to the Center for Disease Control, since Coronavirus or COVID-19 cases have been reported in almost all the states in the USA with some areas entering stage III of the disease in which there is community spread and thus travel advisory has been issued by the CDC to avoid travel in such areas. This is to avoid overcrowding at the airports and preventing the spread of the infection.
According to the advisory issued by the CDC, things to consider before traveling during the Coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak include.
- Research and check the spread of the infection in the area of travel. It is advised not to travel at places where there is a community spread or the Covid-19 infection has reached stage III.
- If an individual is traveling to a place where he or she does not stay then it is more likely that they will get the Coronavirus or COVID-19 infection as they go to different places and meet people. If anyone of them is infected, the chances of the person also getting infected are very high. It is recommended to make a thorough check of the destination and ensure that the place the person is going to visit is not infected.
- The person should ensure that there is minimal contact with others during the travel and proper social distancing norms are maintained.
- It is also recommended to avoid any crowded areas like marketplace, restaurants, or pubs as these places have very little in the name of ventilation and the risk of getting the virus increases multi-fold. It is also recommended to avoid social gatherings like that in a mosque or a church. Traveling in public transport like buses or metro trains is also ill-advised in the wake of Coronavirus or COVID-19.
- The CDC also recommends that people with premorbid conditions as detailed above should not travel until the current Coronavirus or COVID-19 scare is controlled or a definitive treatment or vaccination is found.
- In case if an individual has travelled abroad and returned back home recently, then it is recommended that he or she stay in the house and self-isolate for at least 14 days and make no physical contact with anyone, even with family members, in case they have contracted with Coronavirus or COVID-19 infection.
- In case if an individual feels that he or she is a carrier of the Coronavirus or COVID-19, then also it is recommended to go into quarantine or contact the nearest hospital for a COVID-19 test.
In conclusion, with regard to travel during Coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak, it is best to cancel or avoid any traveling. This is because of the rapidity with which this infection is spreading globally. Any travel during this time increases the chances of getting the infection, more so in older adults or people with premorbid condition like hypertension and diabetes.[1,2]
The CDC has also issued a travel advisory for the people of United States. If any person needs to travel either within United States or abroad it is recommended that he or she reads the advisory thoroughly at their website before planning any trip. It is best not to venture out of the home at the present time when the Coronavirus or COVID-19 is at its peak, at least till the spread is controlled.[1,2]
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