The recently discovered new coronavirus originated in the city of Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China. Like other types of coronavirus, it has come from animals and those most affected either work or shop in the seafood wholesale marketing in the centre of the City, which also sold live and newly slaughtered animals.
Previous examples of other types of coronavirus are SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome).
One of the biggest concerns with the new coronavirus is the rate of infection and the outcome which is viral pneumonia. Pneumonia leads to coughing, fever, breathing difficulties and, in the severest cases, organ failure. Those who have very unfortunately deceased to date have had already weakened immune systems and could not fight off the infection.
In the current outbreak, 6000 cases have been reported in china with 132 deaths. The virus has spread to 13 provinces of China, alongside Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Tianjin. Additionally, there are some cases confirmed outside of mainland China – Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Nepal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the U.S.A. Currently, when writing this blog, there are no confirmed cases in the UK although testing has taken place.
Our recommendations for prevention
- Make sure employees are aware of the symptoms. There’s lots of useful information on Public Health England’s website with regards to signs and symptoms to look out for.
- Hygiene – regularly encourage employees to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer and keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
- If employees show symptoms of flu encourage those to stay at home and to avoid travelling.