Coronavirus: ‘We’re ready if patients have virus symptoms’ says top Guy’s and St Thomas’ official

Josh Salisbury (29 January, 2020) Health

97 people have been tested in the UK for the coronavirus, all of whom were found to be negative

32391Some patients are being treated at a specialist unit at Guy's and St Thomas'.

A top Guy’s and St Thomas’ official has vowed that the local hospitals are prepared if there is an outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.

The Trust says the risk is currently low from coronavirus, according to a report to be heard by the Board of Directors this afternoon.

The hospitals have also put in place plans to deal with any patients who have symptoms.

“As the national network high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) lead we have been proactively working with Public Health England in relation to coronavirus,” said chief executive, Dr Ian Abbs.

“We ourselves have put in place plans should we have individuals turn up with symptoms. At present the risk is perceived to be low.

“Should there be a positive case in the UK they will be admitted to one of the designated HCID centres.”

Guy’s and St Thomas’ is one four of centres nationally designated for dealing with airbourne infectious diseases such as coronavirus.

As of yesterday, 97 people have been tested for the infection in the UK – all of whom were negative.

Airlines such as BA have suspended flights from the UK to mainland China following the outbreak centred around Wuhan City.

The foreign office advises against  all non-essential travel to mainland China, and no travel at all to Hubei Province, the epicentre of the outbreak.

The infection presents as flu-like, with symptoms including a cough, fever or difficulty breathing.

Most cases appear to be mild, according to Public Health England, and those who have died from coronavirus appeared to have pre-existing conditions.

“Isolating yourself from other people, like you would with other flu viruses, is in step with the best scientific and expert advice on how to stop the coronavirus from spreading,” said Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England.

“This means taking simple, common sense steps, such as staying at home and avoiding close contact with other people as much as possible.”

Government advice on the coronavirus, including steps that should be taken if you have recently travelled to or from Wuhan, can be found here.

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