Coronavirus is dominating national and international channels. With terrifying headlines and statistics that are causing widespread panic, it’s time to step back.
Let’s look at what we actually know and what Coronavirus means for Oxford.
The Novel Coronavirus originated in Wuhan City in China, and has currently caused 130 deaths across China.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “the virus did not match any other known virus. This raised concern because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people.”
The majority of cases have been confined to China, with a few spreading to Japan and the United States.
Public Health England have assessed the current risk to the UK as low. There are currently no confirmed cases in the UK or of UK citizens abroad.
Viral respiratory infections, such as colds and influenza, are very common at this year.
The University of Oxford has advised that “if staff or students develop viral symptoms they should manage these as they usually would.”
“If staff or students have recently travelled to an affected area and develop symptoms of a respiratory illness within 14 days of the exposure, they should phone their GP or contact 111 who will advise them.”
Meanwhile, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all but essential travel to China.
Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of PHE, outlined official guidance for those returning from Wuhan: “Isolating yourself from other people, like you would with other flu viruses, is in step with the best scientific and expert advice on how to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
“This means taking simple, common sense steps, such as staying at home and avoiding close contact with other people as much as possible.”
Britons who are being flown back to the UK will be put in quarantine for two weeks to contain any potential risk.