Yesterday it was confirmed that the first two Coronavirus patients in the United Kingdom were being treated at a specialist tropical diseases unit at the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI). The cases, contracted in York and related to each other, are of an unspecified background and were transported to the Tyneside hospital on Thursday evening. The event has sparked fears about the spread of Coronavirus in the North East of England, with several people writing online that they would be cancelling their appointments at the hospital in light of the revelation.
Are you worried about the virus? Whilst medical experts have affirmed that the chances of an outbreak in the United Kingdom are extremely unlikely and stated these cases were “caught early” it is nevertheless wise to take some careful and common sense precautions, although without resorting to panic or hysteria. Here is what we recommend just to stay on the safe side!
- Be attentive to basic hygiene: The most simple things can be the most effective. Wash your hands regularly, especially after you have been in any public places. Consider purchasing some hand sanitizer and use it regularly. Keep your home and surroundings clean and ensure there is nothing that can allow germs or microbes to spread. Avoid touching things such as handrails in public.
- Look after your elderly: The group at the biggest risk of the Coronavirus is the elderly, who have weaker immune systems. If you have an elderly parent or grandparent, consider advising them to go out less in the midst of the virus, especially if there is an area of known infection. Make more effort to help them and provide what they need.
- Reduce physical contact with people: If there is a risk of something spreading, avoid physical contact with people, most especially strangers. Decline handshakes, hugs and other gestures on potential risk. In conversation, don’t get too close to people and ensure they aren’t breathing on you or that anything comes out of their mouth towards you.
- Pay attention to the experts: Britain’s NHS is here to help. If you have serious questions or concerns, there are a range of ways to contact them online. Read their website frequently, listen to what their staff are telling the media. If you feel any symptoms or someone you know does, you can dial their helpline at 111 or of course, go straight to your doctor.
Overall, whilst nobody is calling for drastic measures at this time, these little things do help and there is no shame nor flaws in simply being careful. The United Kingdom is probably not going to suffer a pandemic, but preventive measures do make a difference.