Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA), Dr. Joy St. John said there have been no confirmed cases or reports of the 2019-nCoV in the Caribbean region.
Speaking at a recent press conference in Trinidad, the Executive Director said that based on the information provided, the immediate health risk from the coronavirus to the general public remains low.
In a release, CARPHA said it is monitoring developments and working closely with its international health partners to respond to the global health threat and will provide timely advice and support to the preparedness activities of Caribbean Member States.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. This 2019-nCoV virus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
More than 2000 deaths have been reported from the virus and over 31,000 infections globally.