Brackley coronavirus potential incident - risk nationwide is low and most cases are mild, says Department of Health

Following news that the Washington House, Brackley GP surgery has been closed temporarily because of a potential coronavirus incident, the following is information provided by the Department of Health.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 12:23 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 1:02 pm
Washington House surgery, Brackley. Picture by Google

England's Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty says most cases appear to be mild and those who have died in Wuhan, China - where the virus was first identified - appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.

The UK is now one of the first countries outside China to have a prototype specific laboratory test for this new disease.

The Brackley surgery announced its closure this morning - see story here.

A magnified picture of coronavirus. Picture by Getty Images

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.

Based on current evidence, novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing.

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. Our advice for travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province remains unchanged from the below.

As of 9am on February 9, a total of 795 people have been tested, of which 791 were confirmed negative and four positive.

"We have been working in close collaboration with international colleagues and the World Health Organization to monitor the situation in China and around the world," a DoH spokesman said.

This advice applies to travellers who have returned to the UK from the following areas: China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Macau.

If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu; call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country.