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Haughton Thornley Medical Centres - GP services for Hyde and Denton

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Worried you or a loved one may have Covid-19 (Coronavirus) ?

DO NOT go to your GP with cough & fever symptoms if you’ve been to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand. Call 111


The WHO has now named the virus as COVID-19 which is a type of coronavirus




Learn about the Coronavirus and what you need to know from the World Health Organisation below




It seems to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough and then, after a week, leads to shortness of breath. But in more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Most victims have been elderly people, suffering from other chronic diseases including Parkinson's and diabetes.

There are several myths surrounding the risks of coronavirus here in the UK. BBC Health Online desk have been looking at some of them, and putting the facts straight.
  • Face masks aren't that useful
  • You can't catch the virus from animals
  • It is seldom fatal 
  • But there is no cure
  • It's safe to eat Chinese food
Face masks aren't that useful
You might be starting to see people wearing them in the UK, but there is limited evidence that they work.

That's because they are generally too loose, don't cover the eyes and can't be worn for long periods.Face masks need to be changed frequently (because they get sweaty), if they are to offer any real protection.

To protect yourself, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it's more important to:
  • cover your mouth and nose while sneezing, with a tissue or your elbow
  • put the tissue straight into a closed bin
  • wash your hands afterwards, and then frequently, with soap or sanitiser
  • keep your distance from people who are coughing and sneezing (at least one metre)
Don't bother:
  • eating garlic
  • gargling 
  • mouthwash
  • rinsing your nose with saline
  • using sesame oil under the nose
None of these will help protect against the new virus in any way, the WHO adds.



Current advice from Public Health England says:

Do you have shortness of breath, cough or sore throat 

or 

severe acute respiratory infection requiring admission to hospital with clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome

If so then 

Have you lived in or travelled to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in the last 14 days before onset of illness

or

Have you had contact with a confirmed case of WN-CoV in the 14 days before onset of illness ?

Travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province
If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately:
  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area
  • Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.
Travellers from other parts of China and other specified areas
This advice applies to travellers who have returned to the UK from the following areas:
  • China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau
What to do if you think you may have contracted Coronavirus 
If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:
  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country
  • contact the surgery via Engage Consult or phone the receptionist and tell us you think you have Coronavirus
What to do if you are asked to self-isolateYou only need to isolate yourself if you've been told to by Public Health England (PHE) or the Department for Health and Social Care. You should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be open, separate from the other people in your home.Ask for help if you need groceries, other shopping or medication - it's OK to have friends, family or delivery drivers drop off supplies to get you through the two weeks.But you shouldn't invite visitors in, PHE says.

The new coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China. The death toll now stands at 2,348 people in China and 11 outside China.The WHO said there had been 1,402 cases in 28 countries outside of China (correct on 22nd February 2020). You can see the latest info from the World Health Organisation here as this is a developing situation.

What happens to patients diagnosed with coronavirus?

A detailed analysis of the first 99 patients treated there has been published in the Lancet medical journal.

Lung assault
All of the 99 patients taken to the hospital had pneumonia - their lungs were inflamed and the tiny sacs where oxygen moves from the air to the blood were filling with water.Other symptoms were:
  • 82 had fever
  • 81 had a cough
  • 31 had shortness of breath
  • 11 had muscle ache
  • 9 had confusion
  • 8 had a headache
  • 5 had a sore throat
At least 10% die

As of 25 January, of the 99 patients:
  • 57 were still in hospital
  • 31 had been discharged
  • 11 had died
This does not mean the death rate of the disease is 11%, though, as some of those still in hospital may yet die and many others have such mild symptoms they do not end up in hospital. Most of the 99 patients were middle-aged, with an average age of 56 - and 67 of them were men.However, more recent figures suggest a more even gender split. The China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1.2 men were infected for every 1.0 women.

What is the current situation in the UK ?

As of 22 February, a total of 6,152 people have been tested, of which 6,143 were confirmed negative and 9 positive. You can see the latest information and advice for the UK here.  

Risk level
Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate.This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. The risk to individuals remains low.

I do not have Coronavirus currently - what can I do now to help myself and my loved ones for the future?
  • Make sure you have signed up for Records Access and Understanding. This allows you to see what your doctor or nurse have witten about you too. Click here and complete the questionnaire for each member of your family. If you care for somebody then do the questionnaire on their behalf.  
  • Register with Engage Consult so that you can book an appointment whenever you need an appointment
  • We are introducing video consultations for those patients who are unable to come to the surgery or it is unsafe for you to do so. This will requre you to have a smartphone or a computer with a video camera attached too. This is not essential but it does allow the doctor to see you even if you are unable to come to the surgery.
  • Face masks may be useful if you are in confined spaces or travelling in a closed environment eg a plane. However washing your hands regularly with warm soapy water is much more important
  • The foreign office currently advises against all but essential travel to China. See the latest travel advice from the WHO
  • Look back at this webpage which we will keep uptodate with useful information. For the latest info please see here
Watch this video by the BBC telling you 5 things you need to know about Covid-19

Not everybody who is a case of coronavirus results in death.

How deadly is the coronavirus?

Based on data from 17,000 patients with this coronavirus, the WHO says:
  • 82% develop mild symptoms
  • 15% develop severe symptoms 
  • 3% become critically ill
The proportion dying from the disease, which has been named Covid-19, appears low (between 1% and 2%) - but the figures are unreliable.Thousands are still being treated but may go on to die - so the death rate could be higher.But it is also unclear how many mild cases remain unreported - so the death rate could also be lower.

To put this it into context, about one billion people catch influenza every year, with between 290,000 and 650,000 deaths. The severity of flu changes every year.





The above information has been collected from advice from NHS Choices, Public Health England and advice from Tameside and Glossop CCG as well as Haughton Thornley Medical Centres and the BBC

Updated 23.2.2020

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