The UK Chief Medical Officer has confirmed that twelve further patients have tested positive for COVID-19 infection today (1 March 2020) bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 35.
One of these cases is a resident of Essex. Public Health England (PHE) is working closely with NHS colleagues and Essex County Council to manage the situation and help reduce the risk of further cases.
Dr David Edwards, Consultant in Health Protection, Public Health England East, said:
“Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 who is an Essex resident. We’re working closely with local NHS colleagues as well as Essex County Council to manage the situation and help reduce the risk of further cases.
“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 the wider public.”
Essex County Council’s Director of Wellbeing, Public Health and Communities, Mike Gogarty said:
“This new cases of coronavirus is nothing unexpected. We fully anticipate an increase in numbers which is why our services have planned for, and are ready, for this situation.
“I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and Essex County Council is working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Essex are protected.
“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, which is why it is important to help protect ourselves and each other.
“Following Government guidance to take basic hygiene precautions remains 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. We should do this all day every day as we should for flu.
“Good regular cleaning with normal detergent of surfaces people touch regularly or may cough onto, like door handles and lift buttons, is also sensible. People should log onto https://gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest advice and information.”
Based on current evidence, Coronavirus COVID-19 presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Anyone who is concerned about health symptoms is advised to follow the advice about what to do on the Government’s website here: PHE website