Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese epidemiologist and pulmonologist who discovered the SARS coronavirus in 2003 has warned others that being in the elevator is one of the places that has the highest risk of getting infected with the Wuhan virus, followed by restaurants and offices.
In an earlier interview, he warns others to wear masks when in the elevator and for the elevator to be disinfected frequently, especially the buttons. According to Oriental Daily, he said that the novel coronavirus epidemic will peak between one week to 10 days and the number of infected cases is expected to increase even more.
He added that the Wuhan coronavirus was more infectious than SARS and was slightly different. The novel coronavirus had mutated and this makes it significantly more contagious than the MERS and SARS virus. He said that the majority of the symptoms of patients who got infected with the Wuhan virus are fever, fatigue, dry cough, running nose, nasal congestion and some even have gastrointestinal symptoms.
Zhong explained that confined spaces are the most dangerous, which is why elevators are considered high risk, followed by restaurants and offices. When entering restaurants to eat, he advises the public to take off their masks at the last minute before eating and try not to eat facing other people. For offices, he said that we should wear masks and keep a moderate distance when talking as well as making sure the office is well ventilated at all times.
He emphasised that the virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets and enclosed places with high density of people are all high-risk areas. He reminds others that things like door knobs, keyboards, computer mouses, stationery and desks in the office should be regularly disinfected. Always wash your hands after taking the elevator, going to the restaurant or going out.
Stay safe and healthy, everyone!
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