CDC Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions

CDC Updates Japan’s Level 2 Travel Alert

Japan Travel Alert updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the Level 2 Travel Alert for Japan on February 28, 2020.

This ‘Practice Enhanced Precautions’ Travel Alert says ‘Japan is experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness now called COVID-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

As of noon on February 29, 2020, Japan's Ministry of Health reported 208 patients and 22 asymptomatic pathogen carriers have been identified, of which 186 are Japanese nationals, and 28 other people are under investigation.

And on February 28th, Naomichi Suzuki, the governor of the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido, declared a 3-week emergency period in response to an outbreak of the new coronavirus known as COVID-19.

The CDC warns the risk factors for severe illness are not yet clear, but ‘older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing non-essential travel to Japan, as this SARS-CoV-2 virus has been confirmed to spread from person to person.’

Separately, Japan’s leadership has taken action to reduce the spreading of this coronavirus, such as scheduling a sumo tournament without fans.

And those who do visit Japan should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often.

The CDC says ‘illness with this virus has ranged from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms of infection include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Sore throat and diarrhea have also been reported in some patients.’

If you have spent time in Japan during the past 14-days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, the CDC suggests the following actions:

  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Take your temperature, seek medical advice and avoid contact with others.
  • Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel an area with community spread of coronavirus, and your symptoms.

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Furthermore, the CDC suggests healthcare providers should obtain a detailed travel history for patients with fever or acute respiratory symptoms. 

For patients with these symptoms who were in Japan and had onset of illness within 2 weeks of leaving, consider novel coronavirus infection and notify infection control personnel and your local health department immediately.

For additional healthcare infection control recommendations, visit CDC's Infection Control webpage.

The CDC’s initial notice regarding Japan’s outbreak was posted on February 19, 2020. 

In addition, the US Department of State issued a Level 2 Travel advisory for Japan on February 22, 2020.

As of March 1, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any preventive vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

SARS-CoV-2 virus breaking news is published by Coronavirus Today.  

Japan Travel Alert News is published by Vax-Before-Travel.