As you will no doubt be aware, the World Health Organisation’s has declared Coronavirus to be a public health emergency of international concern. Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, confirmed this week that two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for Coronavirus.
What is Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of virus common across the world. Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov), the strain currently causing concern, is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
Infection Control Protocols
You can help by continuing to follow normal infection control procedures, remembering the need for good hand and respiratory hygiene at all times – follow the standard NHS advice of Catch It, Bin It, Kill It!
- People should cover their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping and blowing the nose
- All used tissues should be disposed of promptly into a waste bin
- Hands should be thoroughly washed after coughing, sneezing, using tissues, or after contact with respiratory secretions or objects contaminated by these secretions
- Standard precautions should be followed when handling any clinical waste, which must be placed in leak-proof clinical waste bags or bins and disposed of safely
Should we be concerned?
In a statement on the patients identified in the UK, chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said: “We are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus. The NHS is extremely well prepared and used to managing infections, and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread. We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.
“We are continuing to work closely with the World Health Organisation and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities.” Anyone who comes to the UK from anywhere in China and shows any symptoms associated with the coronavirus should “self-isolate” for 14 days, Prof Whitty added.
Keep up to date
You can see the latest updates on Novel Coronavirus on the Government’s website – click here to find out more.