Coronavirus – what is it and how do you protect yourself?
Your headlines have been full of Coronavirus and our social media timelines are saturated with stories and accounts and let’s be honest, some misinformation. Yesterday, in what is believed to be the first human transmission in Europe, a German man tested positive for Coronavirus. He was infected by a work colleague. Three further cases have been confirmed in Germany today. We expect this will cause more panic so decided to put together a short guide and dispel any myths.
What is coronavirus?
A Coronavirus is actually a common virus and is mostly not dangerous. It can cause infections in the upper throat, nose and sinuses. However, some strains can be serious and this recent outbreak in China identified a new strain called 2019-nCoV or “2019 Novel Coronavirus”.
How is coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is spread through close contact with an infected person. If that person sneezes or coughs onto a surface, and you touch that surface then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, or eat something with your hands, you become at risk of infection.
What are the symptoms?
It is difficult to differentiate Coronavirus from common cold or ‘flu symptoms. It causes upper respiratory tract infection symptoms such as cough, bunged up nose, sore throat and sometimes in children, ear infections.
What should I do if I have these symptoms?
Realistically, you should only be concerned about Coronavirus if you have travelled to Wuhan in China in the last 14 days or have been in contact with someone who has. It’s far more likely you have a common cold or ‘flu.
If you have travelled to Wuhan and are suffering from symptoms, you should call Public Health England on 020 7654 8000. They are best placed to advise you on next steps.
How can I prevent infection?
Steps you can take to prevent infection include:
- Using anti-viral hand sanitiser regularly through your day and avoiding touching your face or eating without washing your hands and using sanitiser.
- Boost your immunity by taking daily probiotics, zinc and vitamin C, exercising, eating well and avoiding stress.
- If you are ill, please carry tissues with you and cough and sneeze into them. Remember the public health england campaign, catch it, bin it, kill it? Still applies!
If you need a doctor, we are here 6 days a week at two Central London locations. Please do not attend a clinic if you have recently been to Wuhan in China.