THL issues new coronavirus guidelines for travellers

There's only been one confirmed case in Finland so far, but medical professionals want to make sure tourists know what to do if they get sick.

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File picture of woman wearing anti-pollution / anti-germ face mask / Credit: iStock

The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare THL has issued new guidelines for travelers about the Wuhan coronavirus.

The new advice was put together as the number of cases in China – and worldwide – continues to grow. So far there have been more than 24,300 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, and almost 500 deaths.

Finland has had one case of the disease so far, when a patient visiting from central China tested positive last week. She was treated at Lapland Central Hospital in Rovaniemi but has now been released after her symptoms cleared up.

Now THL says that anyone who gets a sudden respiratory illness should contact a hospital or healthcare centre by phone in the first instance – they’ll then be advised how to seek treatment.

Symptoms might include fever, cough or shortness of breath that occur within two weeks of arriving from China. Rapid diagnosis is important to prevent other people getting sick, says THL.

The latest medical advice is that everyone should cover their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing, and put the used handkerchief in the trash.

Doctors advise that if you don’t have a handkerchief, cough or sneeze into the upper part of your arm and not into your hands.

The new instructions are available in Finnish, Swedish, English and Chinese.