As you may be aware, the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus hit 39 in the UK yesterday, Monday 2nd March 2020. In today’s post, we want to give you a breakdown of the facts regarding Coronavirus, and provide you with as much information on the preventative steps you should take to keep yourself and your family safe.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
The illness seems to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough. After about a week, some sufferers experience shortness of breath and a minority of patients require hospital treatment.
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have Coronavirus as they are similar to those for much more common viruses, such as colds and flu.
People of all ages can be infected by the Coronavirus. However, older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
The World Health Organisation advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
How do I protect myself?
Regular and thorough hand washing is crucial to avoid contracting the disease.
Research is currently being conducted to determine how exactly Coronavirus spreads from person to person. However, similar viruses are spread via droplets, such as those produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
So, coughing and sneezing into tissues, not touching your face with unwashed hands, and trying to avoid close contact with infected people are very important steps to take.
What should I do if I think I have Coronavirus?
The NHS says the risk to individuals in the UK remains low.
But people who think they may be affected by coronavirus need to call the NHS 111 phone service for further advice. They should not go to their GP, or A&E.
If you have come into contact with somebody who may be infected, you may be told to self-isolate. People needing to do so should take “common-sense” steps to avoid close contact with other people, says Public Health England.
How deadly is Coronavirus and will I get better if I get it?
It’s important to remember that four out of five people who contract Coronavirus will only experience mild symptoms.
A WHO examination of data from 56,000 patients shows that:
- 80% develop mild symptoms
- 14% develop severe symptoms
- 6% become critically ill
- The proportion dying from the disease appears low (between 1% and 2%)
If you are concerned that you or someone in your care may have the virus, remain calm and call NHS 111.
As simple as it sounds, hand hygiene is the key factor in stopping the spread of viruses. Watch this short video to see how effective a thorough hand-washing can be: