Great Britain

Bradford Royal Infirmary is testing people for coronavirus

In a statement today, the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which includes the BRI and St Luke's Hospital, said that, in line with national guidance, all hospitals are putting in place NHS 111 pods at their emergency departments.

The Trust said this is so "anyone attending hospital with symptoms of the virus can be kept isolated from other patients and avoid causing unnecessary pressure in A&E".

"Our NHS 111 pods are in place and we are testing.

"Over the coming weeks many more of us may need to self-isolate at home for a period to reduce this virus's spread.

"Everyone can continue to play their part by taking simple steps such as washing hands to prevent the spread of infection and calling NHS 111 first before going to the doctors or A&E if they have any concerns about or show symptoms of coronavirus.”

– What’s happening in the UK?

There have been 15 confirmed cases in the UK so far following 7,132 people being tested.

The latest two cases had the virus passed on in Italy where around 400 people have been infected with 12 deaths, and Tenerife where more than 160 Britons have been told to isolate themselves at a hotel where four guests tested positive.

Eight of the confirmed UK cases have been discharged from hospital.

– What is the UK Government recommending people returning from infected regions do?

The UK Government said that people returning from Hubei province in China, Iran, lockdown areas in northern Italy, and special care zones in South Korea in the last 14 days should immediately self-isolate at home and call NHS 111.

People returning from a number of other countries including the rest of China and Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore should self-isolate if they develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath.

It also said that those returning from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and northern Italy above Pisa should self isolate if they show symptoms.

– What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).

The strain that has recently emerged is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The respiratory disease it causes has been named Covid-19 by WHO.

– Where did it come from?

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people, the World Health Organisation says.

The first cases identified were among people connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan in China.

– How is it spread?

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with the virus coughs or exhales.

These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person and can be picked up other people touching them then touching their nose or mouth, it added.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath (Ian Hinchliffe/PA)

– What are the symptoms?

Initial symptoms of the novel coronavirus include fever, cough, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

More severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, sepsis and septic shock which can lead to death.

There are no specific treatments or vaccines for a new coronavirus but symptoms can be treated.

– Can only people with no symptoms spread the virus?

The jury is still out on this one, although scientists believe there is evidence of asymptomatic transmission. The Department of Health has said it believes the risk of catching coronavirus from someone with no symptoms at all is low.

But because many people with Covid-19 experience only mild symptoms, particularly during the early stages of the disease, it is possible to catch it from someone who has mild symptoms.

– Are some groups more at risk?

The UK Government says that based on current evidence most cases appear to be mild and that those who have died in Wuhan appeared to have pre-existing health conditions.

The World Health Organisation has said that about four in five people who contract the virus get mild symptoms and recover.

But it added that older people or patients with pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes are more at risk of developing serious illness.