What you need to know about Coronavirus

What you need to know about Coronavirus


Over the past month, there have been a lot of discussions in the news regarding the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans.

Like other coronaviruses, it has come from animals and many of those initially infected, either worked or frequently shopped in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the centre of the Chinese city, which also sold live and newly slaughtered animals.

As of 19 February, a total of 5,216 people have been tested, of which 5,207 were confirmed negative and 9 positive.

What are the symptoms?

Although the risks of contracting this virus are very low in the UK, there have been 9 people that have recently been diagnosed and hospitalised.

Symptoms include:

  • Dry cough
  • Fever
  • Breathing problems

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP Practice if you’ve visited or travelled through mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, or Thailand and have symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath within 2 weeks of returning, or if you have symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath after being in contact with someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus. Please call NHS 111 instead.

Should you wear a facemask?

Over the past few days many have expressed their concern and have been confused on whether they should or should not wear a facemask to protect themselves against the virus.

The advice from the Public Health authority is that masks are not a necessity to wear and that they might be unhelpful.

The advice that they give is to keep clear from anybody that has got a virus, not only the coronavirus.

If you are worried, you should keep your distance, as particles cannot travel for more than about a metre.

You may have seen some footage on the news of people in China wearing masks, however, it is relevant to understand that different countries have been advised differently depending on the risk associated to that specific location.  

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