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14 Feb 2020 | 02:33 PM UTC

Egypt: First case of coronavirus confirmed in Egypt February 14 /update 1

First case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) confirmed in Egypt February 14; further spread of the virus possible over the near term

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EGY

Event

On Friday, February 14, Egypt's health ministry confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. The affected person is reportedly a foreigner who was carrying the virus, but had not shown any symptoms.

Egypt suspended all flights to and from China on January 27 to prevent further spread of the ongoing outbreak.

Further international spread of the virus is likely over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 28 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries and consider rebooking options, if needed, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus: 

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands and wear a face mask
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments