An update on the Coronavirus from our Trustee Chairman Dr. Rosie Jones.
A recent report shows that the infection is spreading quite quickly at present but the actual number of people who have confirmed disease is still very low outside a few “hot-spots”. However there is some question over how many “carriers” (undiagnosed cases) there might be in the community.
The course of the infection is mild or very mild in around 80% of cases but the elderly, people with known conditions (especially respiratory conditions) may have a more severe course. This is also the case for those on immunosuppressive drugs and most people who have MS and are relapse remitting, are likely to be in this category so if you have any enquiries refer them to the 111 NHS phone service, their GP or their local MS hospital team for advice.
Southmead hospital has a “Coronavirus hub” on site. People who are concerned can be referred to the hub or get further advice via the 111 NHS advice phone service. If they are advised to visit one of the many hospital site hubs around the country they should enter the hub (usually a small cabin) and use the hotline phone in the hub to let staff know they are there. Somebody will come and check them. This may be a bit alarming as the staff will be in full protective gear but clearly this is a good precaution at this stage. We are advised that concerned individuals should NOT go to A&E but use one of the local hubs or phone/see their GP.
For your personal safely it is suggested that we avoid large gatherings and use frequent hand washing. Dettol claims to have anti-viral as well as anti-bacterial action and there are some specialist wipes that can be obtained from pharmacies that have broader cleaning actions.