First case of coronavirus confirmed in Calderdale

The first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Calderdale

Public Health England has released the latest confirmed cases at 2pm today.

Clinical support technician extracts viruses from swab samples so that the genetic structure of a virus can be analysed and identified in the coronavirus testing laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Clinical support technician extracts viruses from swab samples so that the genetic structure of a virus can be analysed and identified in the coronavirus testing laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

One of the new confirmed cases is in the borough.

READ MORE: Calderdale Council are looking for a new Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner

Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, Paul Butcher said: “On behalf of the Council I’d like to send the patient our best wishes and we hope they have a speedy recovery.

"The Calderdale resident acquired the infection whilst abroad and has been isolated and is receiving appropriate medical care.

“We have well-rehearsed plans in place to control the spread of infection; working closely with Public Health England, the NHS and all our health and care partners.

“Although the risk of infection is currently low, it’s really important that everyone does their bit to protect themselves and the people around them, particularly those who are more vulnerable because they have a weakened immune system or a long term medical condition.

“The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water.

“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. You should self-isolate at home and visit the 111.nhs.uk/ online coronavirus service, which can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do. Alternatively you can call NHS 111.”

Key questions around coronavirus

What is coronavirus and should you be concerned?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of this new virus?

The symptoms of this new coronavirus (COVID-19) include cough, fever, shortness of breath, or flu-like symptoms. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.

If you have returned from any of the specified countries and areas listed on this page, you should follow the advice that is relevant to you.

What is the current risk level to the UK?

We have been working in close collaboration with international colleagues and the World Health Organisation to monitor the situation in China and around the world.

Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This does not mean we think the risk to individuals in the UK has changed at this stage, but that government should plan for all eventualities.

How many cases do we have in the UK?

As of 9am 11 March 2020, a total of 27,476 people have been tested in the UK, of which 27,020 were confirmed negative and 456 confirmed positive. Six patients who tested positive for coronavirus have sadly died.

The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus. Experts at PHE continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases.

How does this new coronavirus spread?

Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets or sneeze droplets. These droplets fall on people in the vicinity and can be directly inhaled or picked up on the hands and transferred when someone touches their face.

How long any respiratory virus survives will depend on a number of factors; for example:

what surface the virus is on

whether it is exposed to sunlight

differences in temperature and humidity

exposure to cleaning products

Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours.

What can you do to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus?

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:

always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel

wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds each time with soap and water or hand sanitiser, especially when you:

get home or into work

blow your nose, sneeze or cough

eat or handle food

avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Is hand sanitiser effective?

The best way to protect yourself from infections like coronavirus is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water. If soap or water aren’t available and your hands are visibly clean, then sanitiser gel can be used. But proper hand washing is the most effective method and this should be your first choice.

Should people avoid shaking hands?

We may get to a point where if we see more widespread infection we ask people to limit the social contact they have with each other.

This could include limiting everyday interaction, although we’re not there yet. What’s most important at the moment is that people practice good hand and respiratory hygiene and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.

Should people wear face masks to protect themselves from infection?

Face masks play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals but there’s very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings. Facemasks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly and disposed of safely in order to be effective