You may have heard about the recent outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and you might be wondering about the risk to yourselves and those around you in the UK.
The risk to the UK has been raised to high. Visit gov.uk for official help and guidance
What is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are commonly found throughout the world in different species of animals. In 2019, a new strain of the virus (COVID-19) was found in humans in Wuhan, China. Whilst not yet confirmed it is thought that the virus was spread from an animal-to-person inside a large seafood and animal market.
Do I need to worry about catching coronavirus?
The UK government has also issued guidance on the risk to the public as well as how you can protect yourself. For more information about countries and areas affected as well as implications to returning travellers or those visitors arriving in the UK click here.
As it’s a new illness, the exact nature of how it spreads from person-to-person isn’t fully understood, although similar viral infections are often spread through the droplets released when coughing and sneezing.
Coronavirus has flu-like symptoms including:
- High temperature
- Difficulty breathing
If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected area identified by the Chief Medical Officer as high risk and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 coronovirus online service.
Similar to flu, and other illnesses, it is usually the elderly or those living with pre-existing conditions (such as cancer or diabetes) who could experience more serious symptoms.
What can I do to protect myself against respiratory viral infections?
To look after your health, we recommend you follow these simple steps to protect yourself and those around you against respiratory viral infections:
Wash your hands – be sure to wash your hands regularly throughout the day, especially after coughing, being on public transport or before/after handling food.
Discard tissues safely in a bin – when coughing or sneezing, it’s best to cover your mouth with a tissue to stop bacteria-carrying droplets from spreading to those around you. It’s important to throw your tissues in the bin with a lid after each use.
As much as possible, avoid close contact with people who appear unwell – it’s always nice to offer help to a poorly friend or colleague but try to do it from a distance to avoid the spread of germs.
If you are still worried or have any more questions you can speak to a member of your pharmacy team for more advice.
We also recommend visiting the coronavirus page on the NHS website for more information.
Read more about McKesson's response to (COV.ID19) Read more here.
Last updated 17th March 2020