Travelers Insurance Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) e-Guide
Coronaviruses (CoV) are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s. In early January (2020), the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that a new coronavirus was identified by Chinese authorities associated with an outbreak in Wuhan City, China. Other recently identified CoVs that have been widely reported in the media include severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring developments closely and is a good source of information about the virus.
Transmission and symptoms
Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, it is now apparent that person-to-person spread is occurring.
Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- Via droplet transmission in the air by coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands According to CDC information, symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days following exposure.
- This information is based on the past incubation period for MERS. Common signs of infection include, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Reportedly, the virus may cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome and, in certain cases, death.
- Information suggests those with compromised immune systems and underlying health concerns may be at higher risk for severe illness. Many characteristics of this coronavirus, and how it may affect individuals, are not clear.
WHO published a range of interim guidance for all countries on how they can prepare for this virus, including how to monitor for sick people, test samples, treat patients, control infection in health centers, maintain the right supplies, and communicate with the public about this new virus.
With regard to the coronavirus, the CDC recommends taking the following steps to protect yourself and others:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately clean your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily (doorknobs, light switches, handles, keyboards, phones, desks, etc.). Also, following is CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
- If you are sick, wear a facemask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
- If you are NOT sick, you do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers. For good measure, it may be prudent to refrain from the usual greetings, such as handshaking.
For current travel information, refer to the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 website.
The information provided in this document is intended for use as a guideline and is not intended as, nor does it constitute, legal or professional advice. Travelers does not warrant that adherence to, or compliance with, any recommendations, best practices, checklists, or guidelines will result in a particular outcome. In no event will Travelers, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, be liable in tort or in contract to anyone who has access to or uses this information for any purpose. Travelers does not warrant that the information in this document
constitutes a complete and finite list of each and every item or procedure related to the topics or issues referenced herein. Furthermore, federal, state, provincial, municipal or local laws, regulations, standards or codes, as is applicable, may change from time to time and the user should always refer to the most current requirements. This material does not amend, or otherwise affect, the provisions or coverages of any insurance policy or bond issued by Travelers, nor is it a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy or bond. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy or bond provisions, and any applicable law.
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