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Medical Translation Services Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic

The world shook with the threat of Coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19. The infectious disease first made its appearance in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Little is known about the new virus strain which causes pneumonia and severe illness in people.

Scientists believe that the virus came from a seafood market in Wuhan. They think that the source of the virus outbreak was an animal, and was spread to humans through pangolins, snakes, or bats, although the exact type of animal is still uncertain.

Because of the worldwide threat of Covid-19, and to prevent the spread of the disease, government officials of different countries issued travel bans, lockdowns of communities, cities and countries, and cancelled events, and other large gatherings. Covid-19 is currently affecting all sectors of society.

What is Covid-19?

Covid-19 is short for Coronavirus disease 2019. The official name of the virus is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2. Covid-19 is related to the virus that started the outbreak of SARS in 2003. The World Health Organization (WHO) decided to use Covid-19 to identify the new virus to avoid confusion.

The common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, shortness of breath, and dry cough. In some cases, symptoms include sore throat, production of sputum, and muscle pain. Most of the cases have mild symptoms, but for those with underlying illnesses, the infection progresses to multiple organ failure or pneumonia.

The spread of the infection is person to person, via respiratory droplets, which come from sneezing and coughing. Onset of symptoms is from 2 to 14 days from the time of exposure. The average is five days.

Covid-19 Update from WHO

The outbreak of Covid-19 started in December 2019. By January 30, 2020, it was already declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

On March 11, 2020 WHO declared the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is the first known pandemic which WHO said could be controlled. In using the term ”pandemic,” health organizations clarify that the term refers to the global spread of the disease, instead of it being a very deadly

From Wuhan, major outbreaks spread to Mainland China, South Korea, Iran, and Europe. Many more countries reported having cases of infected citizens. As of March 13, 2020, here are the outbreak statistics around the world:

  • Covid-19 cases – 173,051
  • Deaths – 6,664
  • Recovered – 77,783

Effect of the Covid-19 Outbreak on the Community

Health authorities and governments are challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost everyone is affected by it. One of the most affected is the global economy. Chinese products comprise over 65 percent of the production of the world. Today, the global consumption and global spending on Chinese products are lower. Likewise, the pandemic significantly reduced tourism activities and air travel. It is expected that global economic growth is going to be lower.

Several countries closed their borders. Spain, Israel, Iran, France, Denmark and Italy have a lockdown, after Wuhan, China. These countries issued restrictions on travel activities, non-essential travels are not allowed, and non-essential establishments were closed, and citizens were instructed to strictly follow social distancing. The most recent announcement is that the island of Luzon in the Philippines is now under enhanced community quarantine from March 17, 2020 until April 12, 2020.

Some countries in Europe are not allowing foreign visitors to enter their countries and some neighboring countries are doing the same thing. In New Zealand, the country requires incoming passengers, as well as their citizens to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine.

The United States is now under national emergency. The country closed museums and parks, and banned international flights. In many regions, classes were suspended.

The Covid-19 pandemic had displayed the disaster preparedness and response capabilities of different countries. Countries and organizations are coordinating their efforts to strengthen cooperation on the international level to uphold health security around the world.

However, it is difficult to determine the size of the impact of the pandemic, and quantify the value of the total losses incurred worldwide. The fear of infection is the primary reason for the decline in travel and retail sales, because people are avoiding crowded areas.

How to Prevent Covid-19 Infection

Covid-19 is a new virus. As of now, there is no vaccine available for it. The earliest time that a vaccine will be available against the Coronavirus disease 2019 is in 2021. Health officials are informing people around the world to follow the recommended measures to prevent the spread of the virus:

  1. Stay at home
  2. Follow social distancing (maintaining a distance of at least one meter from the next person) when you have to go outside
  3. Frequent washing of the hands for at least 20 seconds, using warm water and soap, after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose, before eating, and after going to the toilet
  4. Avoid touching your face without washing your hands
  5. Use alcohol and alcohol-based hand sanitizers (at least 60 percent alcohol) when soap and water are not available
  6. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough
  7. Avoid sharing personal items
  8. Do not spit in public places
  9. Seek medical attention when you feel unwell

WHO recommends the wearing of facemasks only if the person is sneezing or coughing or if a person is taking of care of a Covid-19 infected person, such as health care providers, including caregivers.

People should keep in mind that Covid-19 could infect anyone of any age. However, older people, especially those who have underlying conditions such as cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease are at higher risk of being infected.

While governments are doing all efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19, in the end, each of us should be responsible for our protection.

Be sure to get information about the virus from reliable sources, such as WHO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs), and health organizations in your community.

Crucial Need for Proper Information Dissemination

The risk of the spread of Covid-19 is not a local issue. It is a global concern, which means that the right information should reach people everywhere, especially those in remote areas. What does it entail? The right information about the deadly virus should be available in all languages, therefore medical translation services are going to play a big role in the entire process.

There should be translations of information released by health organizations, healthcare facilities, and national and local government units. Since people speak different languages, it is vital to translate instructions, posters and signs regarding personal hygiene, precautionary measures, and contamination prevention in public places and areas where people congregate, as well.

While information about Covid-19 is all over the news, and concerned government and health should run massive information campaign to reach people nationwide. People have to understand that Covid-19 does not discriminate, and it can affect world leaders, sports personalities, celebrities, and ordinary persons. Citizens should understand that while the most vulnerable to Covid-19 are the people who have other underlying diseases, such as diabetes, heart ailments, and respiratory illnesses, and those who have travel histories in identified countries where the virus was prevalent, it is possible for younger people to be affected. They should be able to identify the symptoms so they can seek medical help immediately.

Medical Translation of Covid-19 Information

Information and warnings will ensure that people can understand them in the language they speak. Even a bilingual speaker usually uses their first language, especially when they want to understand what they are reading or hearing. Medical translators choose the right terminology to assure that intended audiences can easily understand the message.

For example, Italy implemented a total lockdown due to the rapid spread of Covid-19. But in some areas, the term ”lockdown” brought fear to the citizenry, like the case in the Philippines. Some officials in the private and public sectors expressed concern about the use of lockdown. They said that community quarantine and social distancing are the better terms to use. They advocate a massive information campaign in the local language to ensure that people understand the risks and threats of the virus, what they should do to protect themselves, and what they should do in case they feel the symptoms.

For Accurate Medical Translations in the Time of Covid-19, CONTACT US

See to it that you get reliable and accurate medical translation services, particularly during this pandemic. Get in touch with eTranslation Services when you need a medical translation. We have a network of native-speaking, experienced and subject matter experts around the world who can respond to your translation needs immediately. Please get in touch by email via [email protected] or call us at (800) 882-6058.

Image Copyright: MissLunaRose12 / CC BY-SA

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