If you are worried that you may have Coronavirus or have been exposed due to travel, please do not come into the clinic, any other GP surgery, a pharmacy or a hospital.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111 to find out what to do next.
For the UK only statistics visit the Public Health England dashboard.
To track the worldwide spread of the coronavirus outbreak visit The Johns Hopkins Center dashboard.
Gov.uk: For the latest guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals, businesses, schools and other organisations.
Public Health England: For the latest information about the situation in the UK, along with guidance for what to do if you think you’re at risk. You can sign up for email alerts from PHE concerning coronavirus updates here.
NaTHNaC: For travel health advice for travellers to countries/areas affected by COVID-19
Dr Richard Dawood, Travel Specialist and Medical Director of Fleet Street Clinic has been spoken to many media outlets answering the main questions surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
“It is difficult to predict at the moment how the new coronavirus is going to spread, and its impact on international travel.
Coronaviruses make up a large family of viruses that include some that cause the common cold. Cold viruses target the upper respiratory tract and generally cause only a mild illness. However, in recent years, two previous coronaviruses have emerged that cause more serious illness. SARS and MERS viruses. This new coronavirus targets the lower respiratory tract, causing a lung infection (viral pneumonia). The illness seems to have a much lower fatality rate than SARS or MERS – possibly around 2%.
In order to know how easily a disease might spread globally, there are a few technical things we need to know. With a totally new disease, nobody will be immune, and the entire population is potentially susceptible. Each bug has a special characteristic called its “reproductive number”, or R0 (R nought” for short. This is the average number of people each infected case actually passes the infection on to, during the time that they are infective. British scientists have concluded that on average every individual infected by the coronavirus is passing it on to two or three others. At such a rate, it will be necessary to prevent 60 per cent of cases to bring the outbreak under control.
We do know that many cases are occurring in Wuhan, but so far all of the cases that have been identified in countries outside China are in people who acquired it there. We already know much about the new coronavirus, including its genetic sequence. Simple infection control measures and isolation of cases hold the key to preventing this from turning into a pandemic.
For now, the best approach is to keep track of advice issued by the WHO, CDC, Public Health England, and other public health authorities coordinating the global response.”
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that includes some of the viruses responsible for the common cold. Mostly, these viruses attack the upper respiratory tract, causing the symptoms we are all familiar with, of the common cold. In recent years, there have been outbreaks of two viruses that have resulted from human contact with animals. The first of these was the virus causing SARS, which spread from members of the cat family in China from 2002 to 2003. The second was the virus causing MERS that spread from camels in the Middle East in 2008.
This new coronavirus variant has originated from Wuhan province in central China. The outbreak has centred on a large food market in which live animals were in close contact with large numbers of people.
The characteristic features of infection with this new virus are fever and infection of the lower respiratory tract – viral pneumonia. A person suffering from the infection will have a high temperature and a cough, perhaps with shortness of breath. Quite a large proportion of the people with infection have ended up with serious pneumonia requiring hospital treatment. So far the mortality rates from this infection are much less than with SARS or MERS. The full picture hasn’t yet emerged, but the mortality rate seems to be around 2%, with mostly elderly people among the victims.
In general, coronaviruses are spread by airborne droplets that are exhaled or coughed out by people suffering from the infection, that are either inhaled by a susceptible person, or that can contaminate hard surfaces and can then be spread by poor hand hygiene. We may yet discover that there are other factors at play in this outbreak.
Since the new coronavirus causes viral pneumonia, affecting tissues deep in the lungs, it has been speculated that it may be less easily transmissible than coronaviruses that cause upper respiratory tract infection, a cold-like infection. This has yet to be confirmed.
Please note: All information stated is correct at time of posting.
For more advice on Coronavirus…
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