The corona virus arrived in South Africa.

Within one week we have seven confirmed cases (all of them in the same group coming from Italy) and at the moment a bit of a virus hype is going around the country in social gatherings and the news bulletins.   Personally it is not bad for me as there is generally a more positive consciousness about hygiene than ever before.

However, as the virus spreads quickly transmission is of particular concern when using transport, where droplets containing the corona virus, could pass between passengers or via surfaces like plane seats and armrests and doors. 

Now how can you protect yourself?

Experts agree that the most important task is to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly (about 20 seconds) with soap or use a sanitizer that contains alcohol to kill germs and cover your face with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing, do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth and always keep your body hydrated.  Be aware of your coffee and alcohol intake on long flights as these two popular drinks is known to dehydrate you. 

If you present with any symptoms do not delay to visit your medical practitioner.  While face masks are popular, scientists doubt their effectiveness against airborne viruses.

The corona virus is an entirely new strain and it is believed that there is no existing immunity in anyone to counter the virus, but boosting your immune system with something like Airmune before your travel starts might help.

Keep calm! 

Although the total number of deaths has risen, the current mortality rate stands at about 2.4 percent – this is lower than first feared and well below Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another corona virus that broke out between 2002 and 2003, which killed 9.6 percent of those infected.  In the meantime precautions have been put into place to curb the spread of the virus.  Countries such as Russia, Nepal and Mongolia have closed their borders with China and tens of airlines have halted flights to China.

For some more tips on travelling go to Keep Calm and travel South Africa

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