The coronavirus is part of a large family of viruses that can affect humans and animals. They can cause a wide range of illnesses, including something as simple as the common cold to something more complex like severe acute respiratory syndrome.
The novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that was not seen in humans. It is referred to as 2019 – nCoV. They reported the first outbreak in December 2009 in Wuhan, China. As of mid-February 2018, there were over 40,000 cases and over 900 deaths worldwide.
Coronavirus is a respiratory illness that causes infection. It can produce mild symptoms, like a sore throat, fever, cough, or runny nose. However, for people with respiratory issues, such as pneumonia or asthma, it can create more complicated symptoms and even be fatal. Older individuals and those who have pre-existing medical conditions, like diabetes or heart disease, are becoming ill when they encounter this virus.
This new coronavirus spreads through contact with infected individuals. When a person coughs, sneezes, or talks, droplets of saliva or nasal discharge can to transmit the disease. Therefore, it is important that everyone practice good respiratory hygiene. It is also important that people wash their hands using soap or use an alcohol-based rub.
How Is the Coronavirus Impacting Travel?
The coronavirus is creating a health scare that is forcing some Chinese visitors to stay home and is causing tourists to avoid visiting China. Chinese tourists have become adventurous as China’s economy has surged over the past few decades. They travel in large numbers to Europe and North America.
Major airlines in the United States have suspended flights from mainland China and Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific Airways has requested that 27,000 of its employees take a three week leave as the airline has cut 30 percent of its capacity and canceled 90 percent of its flights to mainland China.
What Should I Do If I Get Sick Abroad?
Nobody plans to get sick while traveling. However, this does not mean that illness cannot take you by surprise. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- ● Bring Medication. If you know there is a chance that you will get sick or you have a medical problem, carry medication with you. Medications that are available in your own country may be difficult to find when you are traveling.
- ● Understand the Basics of the Country’s Medical System. If you have grown up in the United States, you are familiar with the way the system works. Other countries have some form of universal healthcare. Talk to fellow ex-pats or vacationers who have been in the country longer than you and try understand how the medical system in the country works.
- ● Keep a Copy of Your Medical Information with You. You should know basics about your medical information, including your blood type, medications that you are using, and allergies. Keep these in an easy to access place in your wallet. Don’t expect doctors to know about your medical conditions just by looking at you.
- ● Learn Basic Medical Vocabulary. Most countries have doctors who speak English. But you should not bet your life on it. It’s best to have some basic medical vocabulary written down, including simple things like pain, itching, nausea, and allergy.
Get Travel Health Insurance
Speaking about the importance of travel health insurance, Pallavi Sadekar, Client Services Executive at Visitor Guard, said, “All travelers should safeguard themselves with visitor’s health insurance and become familiar with coverage included during travel for health and financial protection in the case of illness during travel. Visitors insurance covers emergency health expenses, prescriptions, tests, and in and outpatient services, prescriptions, and tests. With flights cancelling and attractions closing, travelers should protect their investment with trip insurance to cover costs of cancelling plans due to coronavirus.”
That being said, not all visitors insurance is created equal. Some policies have added exclusions for epidemic infections, like the coronavirus. You need to carefully read the health insurance policy coverage. Foreigners traveling to the United States may consider Atlas and Liaison travel medical insurance policies as these currently offer coverage for the coronavirus.
Compare insurance policies. Look at the costs and benefits before purchasing insurance for coronavirus. The only thing worse than not having travel insurance when a sickness strikes is not having enough insurance or the right type of insurance.
The coronavirus is likely to impact world health and travel for months to come. It is imperative that you safeguard your health.