What is Novel Coronavirus?
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.
What measures are being taken to protect the UK?
Advanced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China has been introduced.
A team of public health experts has been established in Heathrow to support anyone travelling in from China who feels unwell. These hubs will bring in rotational teams of 7 clinicians, working in shifts, who will be on hand to support patients on arrival. This is in addition to medical staff who are already permanently in place at all UK airports and the advice issued to all UK airports for people travelling to and from China.
The government has issued clinical guidance for the detection and diagnosis of novel coronavirus (2019-nCov), and infection prevention and control.
The Chief Medical Officer, have issued advice via a Central Alerting System alert to frontline staff to increase awareness of the situation and any actions to take.
Most people who develop symptoms will get them after leaving the airport and so the priority is providing UK residents and travellers with the latest information to make sure they know what to do if they experience symptoms, and the NHS and PHE have an established plan to respond to someone who becomes unwell.
China has also introduced port-of-exit screening so people already exhibiting symptoms are not allowed to leave the country.
Locally, Local Authorities, Universities, Emergency Services are all monitoring the situation and have plans in place to respond if needed.
For more information visit The Government Website
For Symptoms and Health Advice visit NHS