Last week we were talking about the Coronavirus epidemic. The situation is changing rapidly so here’s an update:
The virus is still commonest in the Far East. Anyone who has travelled from China, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau and develops a cough, fever or shortness of breath might have the virus. They should stay indoors and call NHS 111.
There are only three confirmed cases in the UK, so most people with symptoms probably have a normal cold or flu. Manage it the way you normally would, by staying at home, keeping warm, drinking plenty, taking paracetamol and binging on a boxset.
What else do we know about the virus?
It is spread person to person and we think a person is contagious before they feel unwell.
The illness can be serious but most people recover and it appears to be less dangerous than other viruses like SARS.
There is other good news, the international community has learned a lot from previous epidemics.
We have a diagnostic test and the UK is screening people arriving on flights from China. Anyone who might have the virus is being quarantined until they have been tested.
The NHS is keeping hospitals and GPs updated with advice on what to do.
Further information is available from the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/wuhan-novel-coronavirus/
And Public Health England: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public