World Health Organisation has declared a public health emergency of international concern.
The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that there have been 13 cases of COVID-19. A total of 6,536 people have been tested in the UK, of which 6,527 were confirmed negative.
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 NHS is fully prepared to deal with this.
NHS and Public Health England central teams are currently leading on the response. The NHS are fully prepared to deal with the virus and all control measures have been put in place.
The best source of latest information and advice is Public Health England.
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 Wuhan in China in the last 14 days is to
- 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 the city
- follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.