The World Health Organisation has declared a public health emergency of international concern.
The risk in the UK is deemed as moderate for planning purposes and is currently comparable to ordinary flu. The risk to the public is still considered as low.
There is no cause for alarm. Advice is to go about normal daily activities and take usual precautionary measures to prevent spread of infection. Most of those affected by the virus will experience flu like symptoms. Like flu, it can more seriously affect vulnerable people with pre-existing health conditions.
The number of cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in England are currently standing at eight. There are no cases in Northamptonshire. However, it is expected that there will be more positive cases throughout the UK and the NHS is fully prepared to deal with this.
NHS and Public Health England central teams are currently leading on the response and control measures have been put in place.
The best sources for the latest information and advice are:
The recommended steps everyone should take to protect themselves are the same as those to avoid flu and any other similar respiratory infections - maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene, and:
- wash your hands often with warm water and soap
- use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
- bin used tissues as quickly as possible.
Advice for anyone who has returned from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days is and is experiencing a cough, fever or shortness of breath, should stay at home, ring NHS 111 and ask for advice, even if your symptoms are mild.
- stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses
- contact NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to any of the counties mentioned above or check GOV.UK website for updates
- follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.