News Alerts

29 Feb 2020 | 10:40 PM UTC

Ireland: First case of COVID-19 confirmed in country February 29

Ireland News Alert

Ireland confirms first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in country on February 29; further international spread of COVID-19 expected over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/29/2020, 12:00 AM until 3/1/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Dublin). COUNTRY/REGION Ireland

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Event

Irish health authorities confirmed the first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country on Saturday, February 29. The infected patient is receiving medical attention and had recently traveled to northern Italy, which is the epicenter of a European outbreak of the disease; over 1100 cases have been confirmed in Italy as of Saturday. Health authorities are working to identify individuals that the infected patient may have contacted.

Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected 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 (Hubei province, 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 numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

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 adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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