The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, on Thursday, said it is monitoring the outbreak of a new coronavirus, which first appeared in China.
The virus, which was first detected in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei Province, has since spread to other parts of the world with cases being reported in the United States on Tuesday.
Overall, there have been 440 confirmed cases so far and six deaths internationally.
There have been no reported cases in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to date, the ministry said.
A coronavirus belongs to a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from common cold (most common) to severe maladies.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was a type of coronavirus, which broke out in Asia in 2003.
The ministry said a person who has contracted a coronavirus may exhibit the following symptoms: runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell.
These viruses may sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis — typically in infants, the elderly and persons with cardiopulmonary disease and weakened immune systems.
The ministry said that persons planning to travel to an affected area are advised to be cautious and if symptoms develop to see a medical practitioner sharing details of your travel history.
In this situation, the ministry advises employing standard infection prevention and control measures such as:
• avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
• washing hands often, especially after direct contact with ill persons or their environment
• covering coughs and sneezes with tissue and properly disposing of these items followed by hand washing.