We learned that human to human transmission of the new coronavirus was confirmed in China on Wednesday, so I am gathering information about the disease. At this point, there is no statement from the Ministry of Health and Labor Welfare in Japan regarding the virus. However, because our community members are well-traveled, and because the Lunar New Year will bring many people to visit Tokyo from China, we should be keeping a close watch on the coronavirus. Given the information we currently have, the wisest course of action we can take is general prevention.

Here is what the World Health Organization recommends:
-Regular handwashing
-Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing,
-Avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms,
-Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.

These are all effective for the influenza virus as well. The good news is the new coronavirus seems less contagious than other viruses of the same nature like SARS. I will follow this issue closely and keep our community informed of any updates.

– Sachiko Samata (School Nurse, KAIS International Elementary & Middle School)

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