This is how Scarborough Hospital is prepared for coronavirus - and what to do if you think you might have it

NHS England has confirmed Scarborough hospital has made preparations for potential patients presenting with symptoms of coronavirus.

By Corinne Macdonald
Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 12:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 12:12 pm

The virus, which has been named Covid-19, has infected 73,332 as of February 18, the majority of which have been in mainland China.

NHS England have confirmed that Scarborough Hospital has one isolation pod ready for any patients with symptoms of Covid-19.

An NHS spokesperson said: “Following national guidance all hospitals are putting in place NHS 111 pods at their emergency departments, so that anyone attending hospital with symptoms of the virus can be kept isolated from other patients and avoid causing unnecessary pressure in A&E.

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Scarborough Hospital. Picture: JPI Media.

“Over the coming weeks many more of us may need to self-isolate at home for a period to reduce this virus's spread.

"Everyone can continue to play their part by taking simple steps such as washing hands to prevent the spread of infection and calling NHS 111 first before going to the doctors or A&E if they have any concerns about or show symptoms of coronavirus.”

The NHS is also trialling swabbing in the community with the view to roll this out nationally to make this process quicker and easier.

What is Covid-19?

The virus is one of seven types of coronavirus - others include Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Covid-19 started in Wuhan, China and as of February 18, there are 73,332 confirmed global cases of which 72,528 are in China. There have been nine confirmed cases in the UK.

In China 1,870 people have been killed by the virus compared to just three deaths in the rest of the world.

The death rate is currently between 1-2% but this figure is unreliable as thousands of people are still being treated and many mild cases are thought to go unreported.

To compare Covid-19 to the flu, between 290,000 and 650,000 deaths are caused by flu around the world each year according to a recent study.

Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill from Covid-19.

What are the symptoms?

Typical symptoms include fever, a dry cough and shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

According to the World Health Organisation the incubation period of the virus (the time between infection and showing symptoms) is up to 14 days.

What is the treatment?

There is no specific treatment and medics help to keep the patient's body going using things like breathing support to allow their immune system to fight the virus.

A vaccine is under development.

Patients are safe to be discharged from isolation once they have had two negative respiratory tests for the coronavirus, twenty-four hours apart – this means they are no longer infectious and pose no risk to the public.

Travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province

The NHS advises anyone who has travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days, whether they have symptoms or not, to 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

Travellers from other parts of China and other specified areas

For anyone who has travelled to the UK from other parts of China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Macau, the NHS has offered the following advice:

- 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 and call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country

If you think you could have Covid-19

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Tell 111 about any recent travel and any symptoms you have.