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Coronavirus

Please follow these links for latest information: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

If you have trips planned or have recently returned from Italy, please follow the latest advice and see map of affected areas and advice from Public Health England.

 

Coronavirus

The government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad.

Situation in the UK as of 9th February 2020

Four patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus.

Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. The risk to individuals remains low.

Based on the scientific advice of SAGE the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review.

The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on a daily basis at 2pm until further notice https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public.

Information about the virus

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. 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.

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

As it is winter, most respiratory illnesses in the UK are due to the common cold and other viruses, including influenza.

The UK is well prepared to deal with any cases of coronavirus that arise. We are one of the first countries in the world to have developed an accurate test for coronavirus, and we have the ability to scale up this test should the virus be detected in the UK.

The NHS has expert teams in every ambulance service, and specialist hospital units with highly trained staff and equipment ready to receive and care for patients with any highly infectious disease, including coronavirus. Specific guidance on handling the Wuhan coronavirus has been given to NHS staff.

Current evidence is that most cases overseas appear to be mild.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat

However, symptoms may not become apparent until up to 14 days after exposure.
Public Health England are tracing people who have returned from Wuhan within the last 14 days.

Action for people who have travelled to Wuhan

Government advice for anyone who has been to Wuhan in the last 14 days is as follows:

  • Anyone who has returned from Wuhan within the last 14 days should isolate themselves, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people – and contact NHS 111).
  • If you develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of travel from the area, and are now in the UK, call NHS 111 and inform them of your symptoms and of your recent travel to the city.
  • Do not leave home until you have been given advice by a clinician.

Advice for parents/guardians

You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the Coronavirus.

There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school or further education setting as normal.

We recognise that some families or children may be planning to travel abroad during the forthcoming half term period. If so, please refer to the FCO’s latest travel advice via the link https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

What should we do if feeling unwell?

If you are feeling unwell and have not been contacted by Public Health England, then there is no need for concern.

You should continue to treat your symptoms as usual for seasonal flu or a common cold. If you feel unwell and do not know what you should do, then call NHS 111.

As always, if you have symptoms of a cold or flu, then there are measures you can take to bugs spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Where can I find more information?

Information for the public:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

Blog and frequently asked questions:
https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus