Hokesen Letter No.203 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak
Measures for protection and response for infection

Hokesen Letter, No 203 (English ver.), February, 2020.
Health Care Center, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
Yasuhiro Yamauchi, MD, PhD.

The number of reports about novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Japan has been increasing one after another, and the situation is preparing to prevent the spread of infection.
The new coronavirus is mainly transmitted through inhalation of droplets caused by sneezing or coughing, and contact transmissions which are caused by contaminated hands and fingers through mouth and nose.
To prevent further spread of infection, it is important for us to perform measures of protection by ourselves.

  • Hand hygiene: basically, wash your hand with water and soap frequently. It is important to thoroughly wash out the virus attached to the hands with running water (more than 15 seconds), and effective hand washing using soap can reduce the amount of virus more effectively. Also, when water or soap cannot be used, disinfection with rubbing alcohol is also effective.
  • Rest and Nutrition: Chronic stress is known to reduce immunity. So, to not accumulate stress, please take enough rest and sleep. Also, please take well-balanced meals and appropriate exercises.
  • Room ventilation: Ventilation of the room can reduce the amount of virus. Also, try to manage moderate temperature and humidity.
  • Reduce the chance of contact with others: Avoid going to and using places where many people gather. It is also recommended to keep the distance (distance) from people to 2m or more.

Please pay attention to the prevention of infection as mentioned above and enforce health management in your daily life.
If you are sneezing and coughing, please practice cough etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with mask or disposable tissue.
If you have a cold-like symptom such as fever, please rest at home. Also consider consulting a nearby medical institution if necessary.

During the course of the above cold symptoms:

  • When the symptoms of a cold or fever of 37.5 ℃ or more continue for 4 days or more
  • When there is strong drooling (malaise) or breathlessness (dyspnea)
  • However, if there are underlying diseases, etc., if these symptoms continue for about 2 days

If you have such symptoms, please consult the "Returnee / Contact Center". As a result of consultation at the center, in case you have suspicion of novel coronavirus infection, you would be introduced to the “outpatient department for returnees / contact outpatient”, so wear mask, avoid using public transportation, and consult a doctor.
Taking steps to prevent infections on an individual basis will help you protect yourself from spreading infection and would lead to prevent the epidemic of infection in the community and society.

Reference (HP):

Tokyo Metropolitan Infectious Disease Surveillance Center: Information on new coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) Tokyo Health Care Information Center “Himawari”
Tel: 03-5285-8181
Hours: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM (open daily)



WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVIC-19)outbreak

CDC: Coronavirus disease 2019