As reported several days ago, in Macau, a number of health officials have advised the officials of Macau-based casinos to take certain measures including the installment of body temperature monitors and others at their facilities in order to prevent an outbreak of highly-infectious viral pneumonia.
According to one report released by GGRAsia, Macau’s Health Bureau shared this caution after the authority shared the news of several viral pneumonia cases of unknown origins in Wuhan. It was also reported that these cases of viral pneumonia in the city of Wuhan are somehow related to daily air links with services in Macau operated by China Southern Airlines Company Limited and Air China Limited.
Instructions by the Health Bureau and Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau
The same news service also reported that Macau health officials are extremely worried that this highly-infectious condition may very soon enter the gambling capital. Local health officials also worry that if a viral pneumonia outbreak happens in the area, it could be easily spread afield by customers in those forty-one land-based casinos in Macau.
For this reason, the country’s Health Bureau has joined the country’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau in order to instruct casino operators what they should do to fight against a possible viral pneumonia outbreak which is installing temperature monitoring devices at their entrances. Commenting on this news, Director for the country’s Health Bureau Lei Chin-Ion said that casino operators should consider taking further measures such as training their staff to recognize initial symptoms of that highly-infectious condition.
If casino operators in Macau decide to train their staff to recognize viral pneumonia symptoms, they also agree to send their customers who exhibit such symptoms to medical centers and hospitals. The Health Bureau Director also asked casino operators that their employees working at their casino floors ask customers with a fever and other symptoms of viral pneumonia if they have paid a visit to the city of Wuhan recently.
Growing SARS Concerns
Back in 2002, China suffered through an extremely difficult time when an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS appears across many Chinese cities. This 2002 SARS outbreak lasted for nine months. During this time, this bacterial illness infected around eight thousand individuals globally and led to almost eight hundred deaths.
Initial symptoms of SARS are caused by the SARS-CoV coronavirus. Initial symptoms of the disease are very similar to those of flu including fever, lethargy, muscle pain, sore throat, and cough. Once someone is infected with the disease, it can lead to pneumonia including viral pneumonia, bacterial pneumonia and shortness of breath.
Even though no cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome have been reported for over fifteen years, Chinese health officials are extremely concerned over the Wuhan viral pneumonia illness especially as they do not know the origin of the disease. Concerns are even growing bigger as the Wuhan illness remains rather unclear and what health officials know for sure is that certain measures must be taken in order to prevent more people from getting infected. Like SARS, viral pneumonia is caused by viruses that tend to spread very quickly. Symptoms of viral pneumonia and SARS are also very similar including cough, fever, headache, myalgia while different viral pneumonia viruses cause different symptoms.