Advice related to the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19)

January 29 2020
Many of you will have seen a lot of coverage in the media about the new Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) that was first identified in the city of Wuhan in China. The risk (as of 6th February 2020) in the UK is considered moderate, however awareness is important because renal patients are one of the vulnerable populations. This is due to various factors including use of immunosuppression medication, and many patients being elderly and/or suffering from multiple co-existing medical conditions. The renal team are therefore offering you practical advice on how to deal with this situation.

General advice on how to protect yourself

Touching frequently handled objects, particularly in public places, as well as being in close proximity to people coughing and sneezing, are the main ways of spreading the virus.

On the whole the best way to protect yourself is:

  • using and disposing of a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • employing good hand hygiene, by washing hands regularly especially before eating.
  • avoid touching the face especially eyes and mouth.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

The virus can be inactivated by alcohol hand gels but also soap and water.

Health Advice

The NHS has a site dedicated to advice on the virus including links to specific advice for people who have been to areas that area high risk.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

BBC Health Advice Videos

The BBC has produced several advice videos that may be of help.

5 Things you need to know about Coronovirus in the UK

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0833njn/the-news-explained-coronavirus-in-the-uk-5-things-you-need-to-know

Explanation of viruses

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p081948c/the-news-explained-coronavirus-what-are-viruses

Technical description of viral transmission 

Coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets from infected patients with coughs and sneezes. They can also be spread by direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. The virus has also been detected in blood, faeces and urine and, under certain circumstances, airborne transmission is thought to have occurred from aerosolised respiratory secretions and faecal material. 

US Center for Disease Control (CDC) Advice

The CDC which is the USA equivalent of Public Health England has a section on how to protect yourself. See the link below

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-wuhan-china

The CDC recommends you:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to Wuhan with their healthcare provider.

Travel Advice

The Foreign Office is recommending against travel to some countries and this is continually changing. For the latest information visit:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

and then search for a specificl country, and it will then provide details of risks.

If you plan to travel, talk to the renal team if you need more advice.

Visiting China

The Foreign office website has good information for different locations and is updated frequently. This will contain the most up-to-date travel advice and should supercede any information here. Below is the link for China

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china

It also contains links to a “heath section” that gives advice on how to avoid infections and also has links to other websites.

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