AGU organises seminar on novel Coronavirus

Manama, The College of Medicine and Medical Science (CMMS) in the Arabian Gulf University (AGU) recently organised a scientific seminar on the latest updates, challenges and preventive measures of the novel coronavirus. During the seminar, Medical Microbiology Professor in the Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Department in AGU Dr. Khalid Bin Dayna explained that the outbreak of the virus in the People's Republic of China is considered a new type of viruses that are transmitted from animals to humans, adding that it is a mutation of a virus that causes chest infections, coughing, fever, shortness of breath and acute pneumonia.

Dr. Bin Dayna explained further that evidence and reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and disease control and prevention centres indicate that the new coronavirus has the ability to transmit the infection from an infected person to another person, which explains the rate of its rapid spread.

Unlike previous corona diseases, the new disease has a long incubation period and its symptoms at the beginning of infection appear mild and non-disturbing. Because of this, infected people do not immediately seek treatment and this is one of the reasons that enables the virus in the patient's body, explaining the strength and seriousness of the disease, Dr Bin Dayna clarified.

On the transmission of the disease, Dr. Bin Dayna told the attendees that this disease is transmitted during the winter season by the person infected with the virus from the mouth during coughing, from the nose during sneezing, and through contaminated air and surfaces.

He also said that the symptoms of the disease last between two to 14 days, similar to that of MERS, adding that the infection also transmits to a healthy person after touching or shaking hands with a person with contaminated hands, or by touching contaminated surfaces or tools, as well as by rubbing the eyes, nose, or mouth with contaminated hands.

Dr. Bin Dayna advised to follow self-protection steps, such as washing hands with soap and water or sterilised alcohol, covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, and using paper tissues.

For his part, Public Health Assistant Professor in CMMS Dr Salman Al Zayani spoke during the seminar about the outbreak and the spread of the virus to more than 24 countries in the world. However, Dr Al Zayani also confirmed that it is not considered a global pandemic as the number of victims remains low in those countries where the disease was detected.

Additionally, Epidemiology and Public Health Consultant, and Head of the Disease Control Section in the Public Health Directorate in Health Ministry Dr Adel Al Sayyad delivered a speech, in which he highlighted the efforts dedicated and measures taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain to combat the disease.

Dr Al Sayyad also gave an explanation on the followed protocol for the examination of arriving passengers from the People's Republic of China and the applied remedial protocol, procedures and measures, which are taken to examine suspected cases, as well as the followed isolation measures and strategies to combat the virus.

By the conclusion of the seminar, Respiratory Diseases and Asthma Consultant at Salmaniya Medical Complex Dr Saeed Al Saffar said the virus is an intercontinental virus, adding that the number of infected cases in the world so far has reached 40,000, mostly in China, but at the same time, he confirmed that the number of new infections per day has stabilised, according to the latest statistics released by WHO.

Reassuring on the safety of Bahrain from the disease so far, Dr Al Saffar added: Health Ministry is continuing to monitor the spread of the virus around the world, and it has taken a number of precautionary measures, including the screening of the arrivals at the main entrances of the Kingdom, in addition to adopting all preventive preparations in line with the procedures established by WHO and the major global centers for disease control.

Source: Bahrain News Agency