The new Coronavirus is spreading around the world, it’s important to get informed and follow the recommendations of Health Officials to plan a trip abroad, being it for tourism purposes or to work or study.
Bringing foreign students to Brazil in this context is a major responsibility, and that is why we are attentive to the information about the diseases’ risks and prevention.
The virus’ spread is being monitored worldwide. You can check the updates for current status of COVID-19’s propagation and measures being taken worldwide to avoid the spread at the World Health Organization (WHO) situation reports.
What are the symptoms?
“The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.”
(Coronavirus at a glance: Infographic. Johns Hopkins Institute. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-facts-infographic. Access: March 03, 6:47)
The official recommendation (WHO) is to get informed by reliable sources to understanding the risks you might be exposed to. If you don’t have contact with an infected patient, or if you haven’t been in a country that has a significant spread of COVID-19, you are under low risk.
The disease can be fatal, especially to older people, or those with some kind of pre-existing conditions like: cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes, lung diseases or cancer. In general, the disease causes mild to moderate illness, just like other types of flu caused by other viruses. Fatality rates depend on medical care received. At such an early stage of the outbreak, it’s difficult to estimate it.
The main prevention is to avoid close person-to-person contact, to avoid exposure to other people’s droplets into the air from sneezing or coughing. Always wash your hands and avoid touching your mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes).
Johns Hopkins Medicine Institute also orientates a few measures in order to protect your health from infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Download the infographic here.
How is Brazil handling the crisis?
In Brazil, only 4 cases were confirmed by the Brazilian Health Ministry, by March 5th (this number will be updated in case of increasing cases). The four people returned from Europe recently and live in São Paulo, where they are being treated and closely observed to avoid further spreading of the virus.
(Brazilian Health Ministry. https://noticias.uol.com.br/saude/ultimas-noticias/redacao/2020/03/05/coronavirus-ministerio-da-saude-passa-a-contabilizar-4-casos-confirmados.htm Access: March 5, 17:10)
Only two days after the first case of the virus was confirmed in Brazil, a scientific group from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de São Paulo (FAPESP) – a brazilian center of research; sequenced the viral genome of the Coronavirus. The genome was named SARS-CoV-2, and this discovery is important for understanding how its spreading occurs, how it mutates, and collaborates for the developing of diagnosis tests and vaccines.
What is BE doing to support our students?
BE is prepared to support any medical issue that a student might have during a cultural exchange. We have a Health and Risk Management plan which covers information about Risk Assessment and Mitigation, Risk Management and a Communication Plan, carefully planned to address any issue that might occur and affect the student health and safety while in our program.
Most of our students are placed in Curitiba, where our head office is located. The city counts with 111 Public Health units, 46 Hospitals.
Students count with close support from our team:
Full-time support – We are available 24/7 for any kind of emergency a student might have.
List of professionals – We have a reliable list of bilingual health professionals ready to assist our students.
Arrival orientation – In order to mitigate risk, during our arrival orientation we cover Risk Management measures to Prepare students to stay safe while in Brazil.
There are daily reports being provided about COVID-19’s spread, control and prevention.
Find some here:
Brazilian Ministry of Health
WHO is providing courses around the subject. Find here.