What treatment could patients with coronavirus in the UK expect?

The UK looks likely to declare a case of coronavirus at some point, public health officials say.

– Are there any treatments for coronavirus?

Global health experts have stressed that many people with coronavirus will make a full recovery, although some people – both young and old – are being badly affected, with some cases proving fatal.

At the moment, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for this strain of coronavirus infection – known as 2019-nCoV infection.

Coronavirus graphic
(PA Graphics)

Patients in England with the virus will be transferred to one of four High Consequences Infectious Diseases (HCID) units in Liverpool, London or Newcastle.

The two main contact centres in England are the Royal Free London High Level Isolation Unit (HLIU) and the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary HLIU.

All these units have specialist areas where patients can be isolated to ensure infectious diseases are not spread further.

The units have specific areas where staff can change in and out of protective clothing and equipment, while patient isolation rooms have tightly controlled air flow and filtering.

In severe cases of infection, treatment can include life support such as the use of a ventilator, dialysis to support the kidneys and artificial hydration or nutrition.

Anyone who thinks they have been exposed to the virus is urged to call NHS 111 for advice.

– What advice is being given to the NHS?

GPs have been told to isolate patients and call health protection teams if they suspect a patient has coronavirus.

Hospitals have been urged by Public Health England (PHE) to check their equipment, supplies and procedures.

This includes checking they have respirators that staff can wear if dealing with a patient in isolation.

📒NEW BLOG: Wuhan novel coronavirus: what you need to know https://t.co/9vOzpEOscA

— Public Health England (@PHE_uk) January 24, 2020

They should also stock protective clothing such as gloves with long tight-fitting cuffs, disposable and fluid-resistant full-sleeve gowns and single-use goggles.

Plenty of clinical waste bags, hand hygiene supplies and chlorine-based disinfectant solutions should also be in stock.

– What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The main symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear two to 14 days after infection.

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