Mystery China virus ruin Christmas if Brits don’t take crucial step, says expert

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    A top pathologist has warned that Brits need to don a mask once again, but this time during their Christmas celebrations . . . or face another pandemic.

    The warning comes from Donald Karcher, the President of the College of American Pathologist. He was speaking exclusively to the Daily Star in the wake of the news that the mystery pneumonia-like virus causing chaos in China had hit Europe.

    The strange unidentified virus has been causing chaos in China for weeks, with the world on high alert over fears a new pandemic could be on the way. Although it so far only seems to impact mainly children, it saw officials in neighbouring countries such as India, who are wary of another virus spreading through their population following the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2019, readying themselves for action.

    READ MORE: Mystery Covid-like China virus now in Europe and already 'resistant to treatments'

    For the latest news and updates on illnesses from across the globe, click here.

    It has already reached Europe – with Denmark and Holland confirming an influx of cases – with the World Health Organisation on high alert and said to be monitoring the situation.

    And as the world teeters from the brink of world war to the edge of another pandemic, Mr Karcher warned that the fate of everyone now rests in their own hands.

    The Professor and Immediate Past Chairman of the Department of Pathology, George Washington University Medical Centre, United States said: “By staying vigilant and taking proactive measures, we can create a safer environment during the upcoming holiday season and into 2024. Just because the pandemic is over doesn’t mean we abandon taking proper precautions when it comes to protecting ourselves and our family.

    “With the memory of the Covid-19 pandemic still fresh in all our minds, I certainly understand the concern about a possible new pandemic happening, particularly so close to the holidays.

    • Mystery China 'Covid-like' virus now has eight symptoms Brits should watch out for

    “So far, there’s no indication that the increase in respiratory illness being reported in Chinese children is associated with a new emerging virus. While we need to remain vigilant, I can tell you that these types of illnesses tend to surge during this time of year. It's important not to jump to conclusions or let fear take over.

    “What we can do right now is take proactive steps to slow down the spread of respiratory illnesses – with the holiday season upon us, it's wise to be cautious, especially if you're planning to travel, and I recommend wearing masks if you’re travelling and always practising good hand hygiene to reduce the risk of getting sick or spreading any potential infections.”

    • New 'more infectious' Covid strain could make thousands ill over Christmas

    Mr Karcher also gave his top six tips for staying safe:

    • Mask Up: Especially in crowded or indoor settings, or when you’re travelling.
    • Hand Hygiene: Regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer.
    • Vaccination: Ensure all eligible family members are up-to-date on recommended vaccines, including the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccines.
    • Physical Distancing: Maintain a safe distance when possible.
    • Testing: Make sure you and members of your family are able to test, either using at-home or clinical laboratory tests, if you’re feeling sick.

    The World Health Organisation is said to be monitoring the situation, while UK health officials have also said that they are keeping an eye on developments around the world.

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    • World Health Organisation
    • Christmas
    • Family
    • China
    • Science
    • Coronavirus

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