Coronavirus: Two people in England have tested positive for deadly virus

TWO people in England have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 11:53 am
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 1:49 pm
Nurse blood phial Coronavirus

Chief Medical Officer Chris Witty confirmed the news this morning that two members of the same family have tested positive for the virus and are now receiving specialist care.

It is understood the pair are being treated in Newcastle, which is one of the four centres the NHS has designated to treat the condition.

In a statement, Mr Whitty said: ‘We can confirm that two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for coronavirus. The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus.

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‘The NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread.

‘We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately. We are continuing to work closely with the World Health Organisation and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities.’

It comes after yesterday when the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus a global emergency.

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The strain of coronavirus is causing concern due to its connection to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which killed almost 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003.

This particular strain originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, the largest city in central China, with the first suspected cases of the virus were reported at the end of last year on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan.

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director at the National Infection Service, Public Health England, has advised anyone who develops respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan to seek medical attention, either in China or on their return to the UK.

Those with suspected symptoms of the virus, which include a runny nose, headache, cough and fever, are warned to ‘phone ahead before attending any health services and mention their recent travel to the city’.

Anyone who may be travelling to Wuhan to ‘maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene’.

Travellers are advised to avoid visiting animal and bird markets, as well as coming into contact with people who are ill with respiratory symptoms.

British nationals are being flown home from China today and will be quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral for 14 days upon their return as a precaution.