Wuhan novel coronavirus: update 3rd February 2020

Content from Public Health Matters Blog


What is the current risk level to the UK?

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 in the UK has not changed at this stage. Our advice for travellers from Wuhan remains unchanged.

As of 3 February, a total of 326 tests have been concluded, of which 324 were confirmed negative and 2 positive.

Now cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been confirmed in the UK what action will be taken?

Two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus.

The NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread.

We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.

What’s the current travel advice?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province and now advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).

The FCO is working to make available an option for British nationals to leave Hubei province. If you’re a British national in Hubei Province and need assistance, contact our 24/7 number +86 (0) 10 8529 6600 or the FCO in London on (+44) (0)207 008 1500.

If you have visited Wuhan or Hubei Province in the last 14 days you should stay indoors and avoid contact with others as you would with flu, and call NHS 111 informing them of your symptoms and your recent travel to the city. If you are in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885.

Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus. If you develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough, you should continue to follow the advice above. Please do not leave your home until you been given advice by a clinician.