COVID-19: What do we know?

On 31st December last year, Chinese authorities alerted the World Health Organisation to an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus causing severe illness, which was subsequently named SARS-CoV-2.

As we are now only too well aware, this virus is the cause of COVID-19, an infectious disease that can present symptoms ranging from very mild non-respiratory conditions to severe acute respiratory illness and on rare occasions, a fatal multi-organ disease.

COVID-19 has swept across the globe, affecting 191 countries and territories worldwide. As of 3rd December there have been over 64 million confirmed cases and just under 1.5 million confirmed deaths.

Knowledge and advice relating to the disease is constantly evolving and while employers have a duty of care to keep up-to-date on guidance and protect their employees, even the most well-resourced organisations are struggling to keep on top of all the latest information.

To help support our clients, Healix’s Chief Medical Officer has produced a comprehensive reference guide, updated weekly, containing everything you need to know about the disease, as well as sharing our latest advice for travellers.

Inside ‘COVID-19: what do we know?’:

  • Overview
  • Transmission – how the virus spreads
  • Symptoms – characteristic signs of infection
  • Treatment – update on treatments being used and investigated
  • Prevention – preventative measures to mitigate risk of infection
  • Testing – update on PCR and Serology (antibody) testing
  • Advice for travellers and employees

COVID-19 Update Reference: Country categorisation

Extreme

>250 cases per 100,000 over 7 days

  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan ↑
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Curacao
  • Czech Republic
  • French Polynesia
  • Georgia
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kosovo
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • USA – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California ↑, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, N Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, S Carolina, S Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Severe

>50-250 cases per 100,000 over 7 days

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bermuda ↑
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile ↑
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland ↑
  • France
  • French Guinea
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Iran
  • Israel ↑
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Mexico ↑
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Palestine Territories
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Russia
  • Saint Martin
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden ↓
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey ↑
  • Ukraine
  • UAE
  • UK
  • USA – all except the above

High

>20-50 cases per 100,000 over 7 days

  • Bahamas
  • Cape Verde ↓
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Malaysia
  • Mayotte ↓
  • Nepal
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Peru
  • Reunion ↓
  • South Africa
  • Uruguay ↑
  • Venezuela
  • Virgin Islands ↓
  • Yemen

We have recently reviewed how we classify countries, and we identify three distinct categories: Extreme, Severe and High. Extreme is >250 new cases per 100,000 over 7 days, Severe is >50-250 new cases per 100,000 over 7 days, and High is >20-50 new cases per 100,000 over 7 days. We include these categorisations in our communications to give an indication of country / regional risk rating and refine the categorisation using the following additional criteria:

  • Deaths per capita
  • Health care capacity
  • Prevalence of testing

Stay abreast of the latest developments

Healix experts have been actively monitoring the global coronavirus pandemic and pro-actively posting alerts to our Travel Oracle app and web platforms.

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