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Coronavirus update and how to stay safe

Coronavirus update and how to stay safe

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
Lewis Fletcher

What is the current Coronavirus?

The current Coronavirus is Covid-19. The illness started in Wuhan, China and is caused by a member of the coronavirus family. It has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, It has come from animals. Many of those who were initially infected either worked or were frequent shoppers at the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the centre of the Chinese city.

What are the symptoms that this coronavirus causes?

The virus can cause pneumonia. Those people who have fallen ill are reported to suffer from coughs, breathing difficulties and also fever. However, in severe cases there can also be organ failure. Because this is viral pneumonia, using antibiotics won't have much affect as the antivirus drugs that we have are no use against flu. Recovery of someone with the coronavirus will depend on the strength of that person's immune system. Therefore, many of those who have died were already in a state of poor health.

If you have a cough, what should you do?

If you live in the United Kingdom then the medical advice which has been given is that if you have recently travelled from areas which have been affected by the coronavirus you should:

  • Stay indoors and avoid any contact with people as you would with the flu.
  • Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area

Is the coronavirus being transmitted from one person to another?

The nation health commission of China has confirmed human-to-human transmission, and there have been such transmissions elsewhere.

How to protect yourself from the coronavirus

1. Wash your hands: do this by wetting your hands with clean, running water. Then apply soap. Lather your hands, including the backs, between your fingers and under your nails. Make sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse.

2. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Once you have done this, throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue to hand, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than doing it into your hands.

3. Wear face masks as they offer some protection by blocking liquid droplets. However, it must be noted that they do not block smaller aerosol particles as these can press through the material of the mask.

4. If you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing then you must seek medical help by phone as early as possible. You should share your travel history with the healthcare providers.

5. If you have returned home from an affected area in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea in the last two weeks you should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for 14 days. This means that you must not go to work, school or any other public areas. If you have developed a cough, temperature, runny nose, difficulty breathing or a sore throat you must not leave your home until you have been given advice by a doctor.