CORONA VIRUS COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown causes on the 31st of December, 2019 found in the Wuhan Province of China. By the 12th of January 2020, a novel coronavirus related to the SARS virus was identified as the cause of the outbreak of the disease in China. This virus is highly transmissible and on the 26th of February 2020, the Chinese National Health Commission has reported 78,064 cases resulting in 2715 fatalities. The Chinese authorities have reported that the cases are not localized to the Wuhan Province but across the whole country.
Currently, there are 2986 confirmed cases in 42 countries with 46 fatalities recorded. Here in England, 13 cases have been diagnosed including 4 cases from the cruise ship Diamond Princess which docked in Japan. In Europe, the highest recorded numbers is in Italy with authorities reporting about 300 cases with 12 fatalities.
So what is this coronavirus?
Coronaviruses belong to a large family of viruses with some causing less to severe diseases such as common cold while others such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) cause more severe symptoms. Though evidence is still emerging, current information indicates human-to-human transmission via respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions.
Fever, cough, chest tightness and dyspnoea (difficulty breathing) are the main symptoms reported. However, these symptoms are similar to those of the common cold and flu so that you present with them does not necessarily mean you have the illness. Call your GP or 111 if you experience any of these symptoms and they would guide you appropriately.
Whenever you present with the symptoms above, call 111 and they would notify your local health protection team who would direct you to your most appropriate testing location. Currently, a company is manufacturing a home diagnostic kit which is expected to become available from the week commencing 16th of March 2020 and Prime Health Pharmacy will keep you up to date as soon as it becomes available.
Currently there is no treatment for coronavirus.
Antibiotics are ineffective as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You’ll need to stay in isolation away from other people until you’ve recovered.
To stop the virus from spreading, please observe the following;
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
Put used tissues in the bin immediately
Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are not available
Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Furthermore, call 111 NOW if you have been;
- To Hubei province in China in the last 14 days.
- To Iran, areas of northern Italy in lockdown or “special care zone” areas in South Korea since 19 February.
- To other parts of mainland China or South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath.
- To other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini), Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar since 19 February and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath.
- In close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.
Please if you need further information, call us on 01133453194 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OR Visit Department of Health England