Dr Philip Veal from the Public Health Agency discusses coronavirus

Dr Philip Veal from the Public Health Agency discusses coronavirus

See our prescribing doctor, Dr Philip Veal of the Public Health Agency discussing the coronavirus and its consequences. Anytime Doctor also offer next day home delivery on essential prescription medications. Read on for more information.

You can find a full stranscript of the video below.

For all up to date coronavirus information relating to the Anytime Doctor service, please see our dedicated coronavirus page. Here you will find all the latest links to government advice, NHS information and travel advice.

Source: UTV Northern Ireland, ITV Network, 23 January 2020

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses which can affect the respiratory tract. They cause a range of symptoms. Some people have no symptoms. Some people will develop a mild cold. Some people can become quite unwell with serious lung infections. Within China a new strain of coronavirus has emerged over the previous weeks. And when any new strain of coronavirus emerges, we watch the situation very very closely - to identify what the symptoms are, how it might spread, and to assess what the risk to the wider public is, and so we can put in place measures to stop it spread within our communities.

So who would be at risk?

Coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets which spread by coughs and sneezes and by direct contact. So it spreads from one person to another. We have assessed that the chances of this new coronavirus becoming established and spreading widely within Northern Ireland is low at present. However, it is important we monitor this and put in place measures to identify cases quickly, treat them, and prevent onward spread. Given the transport links between China and Europe and the United Kingdom, it is quite possible we may see a small number of cases within the UK and Ireland over coming weeks. However, we are confident with the measures we have put in place, to identify, treat and contain this, we can prevent it becoming established within our community.

Well people will have seen this breaking out nationally, internationally. How worried should people be here?

Well there are a number of measures that people can do to protect themselves against coronavirus and other respiratory infections such as cold and flu. We encourage people to wash their hands frequently, as a minimum after using the toilet, before preparing food, before eating food, and at regular intervals during the day. Also, to prevent spread we encourage people, when they need to sneeze or cough, to do so into a handkerchief, to dispose of it and wash their hands immediately. The science and also the experience have shown that this is successful in preventing the spread of coronavirus and other respiratory infections.

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