The information presented here on the Coronavirus has been distributed by the Bank’s Management to staff. Given the importance of the subject this information has also been shared with the retirees. In addition, a video of the presentation by Dr James Phillips, given in the Bank on Monday March 2 on the Coronavirus, is attached. Dr Phillips is an emergency medicine physician and the Chief of Disaster and Operational Medicine Section at George Washington University.
IMPORTANT: Because of the evolving nature of the Coronavirus situation, it is important that each employee makes it their responsibility to keep up-to-date regarding travel restrictions and precautions using links such as those provided below. For all travelers, while WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on countries with COVID-19, please be aware that local authorities may have implemented or begin to implement travel restrictions and health screening measures, and possible quarantine, for travelers entering or exiting the country. Those who are sick, especially with fever, cough, or respiratory illness should NOT travel and should seek medical care. (Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.) In addition to these links, Country Offices should follow the recommendations of the health officials for their respective countries.
Basic Information about the Coronavirus
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Signs and symptoms of the coronavirus include runny nose, headache, fever, cough, sore throat, and a general feeling of being unwell. The symptoms may appear up to 14 days after exposure. The virus could be more easily contracted by people with cardiopulmonary diseases, people with weakened immune systems, and older adults. Many characteristics of the coronavirus and how it may affect people are still unclear.
How is it spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How to Protect Yourself & Others
While there are currently no vaccines available to protect you against the COVID-19, you may be able to reduce your risk of contracting the virus by doing the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infection symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products.
If you or any of your household members have traveled to an affected area in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, you should:
- Stay home and seek medical care right away. Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Separate yourself from others in your home and avoid sharing household items.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Do not travel while sick.
How to stay informed
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC.gov
- World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- Johns Hopkins CSSE: https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
- U.S. State Department: Travel.state.gov
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection: https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2020-Feb/CLP%20Bulletin-%20Coronavirus%20Guidance%2020200203.pdf