As you will all be aware the Coronavirus is fast spreading outside of China. Fortunately the mortality risk so far is extremely low but the fact that it can spread by human to human contact is worrying and you should take steps to reduce your potential exposure.

  • Symptoms usually include:
  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • difficulty breathing

How the virus spreads

We do not yet know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread through cough droplets.

How to stay safe

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with hand or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands (anyone emptying bins that might contain tissues should use disposable gloves that are immediately discarded)
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough, however mild
  • If you have fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices
  • Managers should be on the alert and send individuals home to self quarantine if in any doubt

Health and safety advice

If you have been in China or been in contact in the two weeks with someone who may be affected the recommended health advice is to self quarantine:

If you have returned from China in the last 14 days:

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people call NHS 111 to tell them of your recent travel

Please follow this health advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

If you get a cough, a high temperature, or you feel short of breath, continue to follow this advice. DO NOT leave your house without getting advice from a doctor.

Treatment for coronavirus

There is no specific treatment currently available for coronavirus. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms.

Work Travel

During this time we I would recommend that you urge all staff to:

  • Cancel any planned trips to China
  • Discuss with your manager all other planned travel outside the UK
  • Continually review foreign office guidance concerning travel to countries affected by the virus

Plus everyone should…
Be aware of who you are with or meeting both inside and outside work and whether individuals have recently been in China or in contact with someone who has. Ask the necessary questions rather than assuming there is no risk.