Two People Have Tested Positive For Coronavirus In England
The first cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, according to England's Chief Medical Officer.
Two people in England have tested positive for the virus, which has already claimed the lives of 213 people, with almost 10,000 cases confirmed across the globe, Chris Whitty said in a statement on Friday morning.
The CMO announced: "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.
"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 Organization and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities."
The location of the patients has not been revealed, but it's thought they will be treated in one of four hospitals in the UK with specialised units in place - either The Royal Free or Guy's Hospital in London, or in Liverpool or Newcastle.
Update on #Coronavirus:@CMO_England statement on two confirmed cases in England.
:arrow_forward: https://t.co/lAQUTk8qm4 pic.twitter.com/7p77OihKmv
- Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) January 31, 2020
The news comes after the World Health Organisation yesterday declared the situation a global health emergency.
"The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday evening.
"Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it."
The virus has spread to humans from animals (believed to be bats and snakes) sold at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, according to new studies.
It has spread from Wuhan to a number of countries, including Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Germany, France, the US and now England.
Coronaviruses are a family of airborne viruses and spread in the same way the common cold is passed from person to person.
This particular strain of coronavirus is known to attack the respiratory system, causing pneumonia-like lung lesions.
It is incredibly contagious and can be passed on via cough and sneeze droplets in the air as well as on surfaces.
Symptoms include a runny nose, fever, headache, cough or other respiratory problems, shortness of breath, aches and body chills. It is possible to be 'a carrier' of the virus - meaning you are infected, but have no symptoms.
More than 80 British people have been evacuated from Wuhan today. They will arrive in Brize Norton RAF base in Oxfordshire at around 1pm this afternoon before being taken by bus to Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral, Merseyside.
They will remain in quarantine in the hospital for 14 days where they will be closely monitored for signs and symptoms of the virus.
Featured Image Credit: PA