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Coronavirus: Precautions you need to take while travelling

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New Delhi: With the novel coronavirus leading to over 100 fatalities in China, people need to be extra cautious while making their travel plans, be it an international conference abroad or a vacation.

While several organisations have started putting restrictions on the travel of their employees to China, there could still arise the need for you to travel to other countries. As the infection from the virus is spreading to other destinations as well, it would be better for travellers to be cautious.

“As there is no vaccinations available to prevent the spread of this virus, it is advisable to take certain precautions to prevent nCov (novel coronavirus),” Suranjeet Chatterjee, Senior Consultant in the Internal Medicine Department of Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi, said.

“Wash your hands often with soap and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, observe good personal hygiene and avoid contact with people with possible symptoms and avoid travel to areas where coronavirus infection has been reported,” Chatterjee said.

Experts in population mapping at the University of Southampton in Britain have identified cities and provinces within China, and cities and countries worldwide, which are at high-risk from the spread of the 2019-nCoV.

Bangkok (Thailand) is currently the city most at risk from a global spread of the virus – based on the number of air travellers predicted to arrive there from the worst affected cities in mainland China, according to a report by the university’s WorldPop team.

Hong Kong is second on the list, followed by Taipei. Sydney (12), New York (16) and London (19) are among the 30 other major international cities ranked in the research.

The most ‘at-risk’ countries or regions worldwide are Thailand (1), Japan (2) and Hong Kong (3). The US is placed 6th on the list, Australia 10th and the UK 17th.

Within China, the cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chongqing were all identified as high-risk by the researchers, along with the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Sichuan and Henan.

While much is yet to be known about the novel coronavirus in China’s Wuhan city, human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. Early studies have revealed that the virus can cause severe respiratory illness.

“So far, the main clinical signs and symptoms reported in this outbreak include fever, difficulty in breathing, and chest radiographs showing bilateral lung infiltrates. As of 27 January 2020, human-to-human transmission has been confirmed largely in Wuhan city, but also some other places in China and internationally,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“With the information currently available for the novel coronavirus, WHO advises that measures to limit the risk of exportation or importation of the disease should be implemented, without unnecessary restrictions on international traffic,” said the statement from WHO.

Talking of the precautions that one needs to take, Vaibhav Rohatgi, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Jaypee Hospital, Noida, said, “First of all if possible travel to China at this time should be avoided, unless it is very important.”

“For safety measures, wear masks, avoid crowded places, maintain basic hygiene and keep sanitising your hands, and avoid direct hand contact with eyes and nose.

“People with weak immunity are more prone to the risk of getting this infection, hence opt for healthy cooked food. This new coronavirus strain is rapidly spreading now in China and only prevention is the best cure,” Rohatgi said.

The WHO has advised that you should avoid travel if you have fever and cough.

“If you choose to wear a face mask, be sure to cover mouth and nose – avoid touching mask once it is on. Immediately discard single-use mask after every use and wash hands after removing masks,” said the advisory.

“Eat only well-cooked food, avoid spitting in public, avoid close contact and travel with animals that are sick,” it said, adding that if you become sick while travelling, it is important to seek medical care early.

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Health

Children & Young People’s Mental Health depend on their sleeping type.

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Sleep has beneficial effects on our health, emotions, memory, and academic potential. Inadequate sleep, however, can negatively affect our well-being, decision-making, and attention, all of which are necessary for success in school. Elementary school and early high school have been identified as critical periods for affecting and establishing healthy habits in children. Because of sleep’s vital impact on the health and performance of students, it is important to emphasize good bedtime habits in our homes, communities, and especially in our schools during this time.

As a society, we are sleeping less and less. One in four Canadians is sleep-deprived and 60–70% of Canadian students are often very sleepy during their morning classes. School-aged children are experiencing delayed bedtimes and nearly half of Canadian teens reported at least occasional problems falling or staying asleep.

Night time difficulties have become common and are hindering the ability of students to thrive in school. Twenty to forty percent of young children are estimated to have sleep problems and of approximately two million Canadians between the ages of 14 and 18 years, as many as 975,000 suffer from a serious lack of sleep. On top of that, almost 13% of teenagers are experiencing severe insomnia. Lost sleep on weeknights combined with unhealthy bedtime habits on weekends are triggering difficulties that manifest during the school week.

Reducing sleep may disrupt the ability of students to concentrate for long periods of time, and remember what they learn in class. According to a study, children with reduced sleep are more likely to struggle with verbal creativity, problem solving, inhibiting their behavior, and generally score lower on IQ tests according to current leading research.

The consequences on school performance are evident. Up to 24% of teenage students have reported that their grades dropped because of sleepiness. In addition, a study has shown that students who had grades of C, D, or E averaged 25 to 30 minutes less sleep per weeknight than their classmates who achieved A’s or B’s.

Sleep and health

Several physiological functions are strongly affected by insufficient sleep:

  • The regulation of the neurohormones leptin and ghrelin
  • The control of glucose level, increasing children’s risk of diabetes
  • The control of cardiovascular function

These are key risk factors for the development of obesity.

Sleep and Driving
reduced sleep impairs a teenager’s driving ability. Car crashes are more frequent in young drivers that sleep less than 7 hours a night compared to those that get more. teenagers are more at risk if they have poor sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, or drive late at night. This is a major issue with adolescents who are learning to drive, are regularly sleep-deprived, and are experimenting with alcohol.

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