Coronavirus began infecting people in Wuhan, China, with the Hunan seafood market reportedly being the centre of it all. Now, the life-threatening virus has spread to Thailand, Australia, Japan, Germany, France and cases have now been confirmed in the UK in England.
Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, said: “We can confirm that two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for coronavirus.”
The Metro report “the Department of Health has declined to say where in England the patients are from but it is understood they are being treated at a hospital in Newcastle”.
Airlines have suspended flights due to the global health risk, with Virgin Atlantic releasing this statement: “This decision has been made with the safety of customers and staff at the front of our minds.”
How quickly do symptoms appear?
Symptoms are thought to appear between two and 10 days after being infected by the virus.
At present, there is no cure for the contagious virus.
If you’ve recently travelled to Wuhan, China, or think you may be infected with coronavirus call NHS 111.
Do not go to the doctor’s surgery, A&E department or any other public places – the virus is extremely contagious.
The death toll for coronavirus has reached 213 people with more than 9,000 cases being reported across 18 countries.
More than 80 Brits have been evacuated from Wuhan and will arrive in the UK within a matter of hours at Brize Norton RAF base in Oxfordshire.
There is no indication the coronavirus case is any of the passengers on the plane.
The expected time of arrival will be 1pm, Friday 31 January.
Passengers on the rescue flight – which include 27 foreign nationals – have had to sign a contract agreeing to isolation before being allowed to board the plane.
Once they land, the British evacuees will be quarantined for two weeks in Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral, where they will be housed in NHS staff accommodation.
On Thursday evening the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus as an international public health emergency.
In a letter following WHO’s announcement, the chief medical officers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland said: “In light of the increasing number of cases in China and using existing and widely tested models, the four UK chief medical officers consider it prudent for our governments to escalate planning and preparation in case of a more widespread outbreak.”