The coronavirus (COVID-19) infection emerged on December 31st 2019 in Wuhan, China. It has since spread in various provinces of the country, later expanding to the rest of the continents; over 72 countries have confirmed at least one case up to this moment.
COVID-19 is part of the large coronaviruses family which can cause mild conditions, such as common colds, but also serious diseases such as MERS-covor SARS-cov. Animals may pass coronaviruses to humans and most of the time, patients experience shortness of breath, runny nose, headaches, cough, sore throat, fever; babies experience gastrointestinal problems.
Over 90,000 cases have been confirmed globally. Out of these, 2800 people died. On January 30th 2020, the World Healthcare Organization has declared COVID-19 a global health emergency. The organization, using an international network of specialists and laboratories to identify the spread of the disease, daily updates its data on the state of the virus globally and, in association with other international organizations, puts forward measures to stop the virus from expanding. On February 28th 2020, WHO raised its risk assessment level on the virus to its highest level of alert, and on March 11th 2020, declared pandemic.
How does COVID-19 manifest itself?
- pneumonia (in serious cases);
- severe acute respiratory syndrome;
- kidney failure.
How can you protect yourself from COVID-19?
- frequently wash your hands with water and soap and / or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- avoid close contact with people who show signs of fever or sneezing.
- avoid eating lightly cooked meat or raw animal product.
- cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- if you show any signs of respiratory symptoms, rapidly seek medical care and mention any recent trips, you undertook to your doctor.
- you should only be wearing a mask if you are traveling in an area affected by CO-VID19 or if your attending doctor advises you so.
How can a MediHelp private medical insurance help you in such a case?
1. By preventing – purchasing a private insurance policy guarantees that the beneficiary has access to prevention medicine which enables them to identify any medical problems in their early stages. It is in this manner that the insured person stands higher chances of avoiding catching a virus due to their good state of health.
2. International coverage – MediHelp insurances’ international coverage allows patients to benefit from diagnosis and treatment in other countries apart from the native one. It is in this manner that a person who gets COVID-19 abroad may receive medical care in the country they are located in, without worrying about ulterior costs.
3. Family members hospital expenses are covered – a private health insurance may be extended to cover members of the family. Thus, the entire family is provided access to top medical services, whether these prevent or treat medical conditions.
As no treatment for the COVID-19 infection exists, existing insurances cover influenza vaccines, even though they have not been demonstrated to be effective against this coronavirus. An identical principle will be applied when a vaccine against the new coronavirus is discovered; its costs are covered by the health insurance. The latter does not include testing for the COVID-19, but if the patient shows flu symptoms, diagnosis and treatment expenses shall be covered in accordance with their MediHelp International contract. Likewise, MediHelp insured persons will be able to seek emergency care in the specific instances inscribed in their insurance policies.
Ambulance and air transportation services may be used in the case of medical situations. These may not be used to evacuate areas affected by COVID-19. Air transportation will comply with local legislation; the latter influences decisions to transfer to other medical units.
Information sources: World Health Organization and Generali Global Health.