SPECIALISTS from Public Health England (PHE) are working with Reading Borough Council following one confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Reading.
Alison Barnett, Centre Director for Public Health England South East, said:
“We ensure that someone with coronavirus doesn’t put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with through contact tracing. The latest case is a Reading resident. Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and to the wider public.”
David Munday, Public Health Consultant at Reading Borough Council, said:
“I’d like to reassure people that we are working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and to ensure Reading residents are protected. If you have not been contacted by Public Health England as a close contact of the confirmed case, you do not need to take any action at this time.”
Health and local authorities are appealing for people to follow national Government guidance to prevent further spread of the illness and limit the numbers affected. This guidance includes taking basic hygiene precautions as the best way of significantly reducing the chances of spreading any virus: sneeze or cough into a tissue, bin it, wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.
Current evidence indicates that most cases appear to be mild, with patients experiencing flu-like symptoms. Older residents or those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions may experience more severe symptoms.
David Munday added:
“These are the same simple steps we all should be taking to avoid other illnesses such as flu which is also prevalent during the winter. It is important that residents help protect themselves and others.
“If you have recently travelled to an affected area or been in contact with someone who has, and you think you have symptoms associated with the coronavirus, you should not go to A&E or your doctor, but self-isolate yourself at home and ring NHS 111 which has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if need medical help and advise you what to do.”
The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
Self-isolation means you should:
- stay at home
- not go to work, school or public places
- not use public transport or taxis
- ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
- try to avoid visitors to your home – it’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food
You may need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection. For more information on the symptoms and steps to take, go to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
For the latest advice on travellers returning from affected areas, plus guidance to schools and care homes, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Details on testing are published daily at 2pm and includes a breakdown of negative and positive tests: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
Notes to Editor:
Public Health England (PHE) exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities.
PHE is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.
PHE has published a Q&A blog to answer many common questions about coronavirus https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/