First case of coronavirus is confirmed in Wales

The first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Wales.

Public Health Wales said the patient had recently travelled to Wales from northern Italy, where the virus (COVID-19) was contracted.

The patient is receiving treatment at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, said: "All appropriate measures to provide care for the individual and to reduce the risk of transmission to others are being taken.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to assure the public that Wales and the whole of the UK is well prepared for these types of incidents. Working with our partners in Wales and the UK, we have implemented our planned response, with robust infection control measures in place to protect the health of the public.”

Health bosses said no further details regarding the affected individual would be released.

The leader of Swansea Council confirmed on Friday evening the infected patient has a link to Bishop Gore Secondary School in Sketty, Swansea.

Cllr Rob Stewart said the patient Credit: Google Maps

Cllr Rob Stewart confirmed there were no cases of the virus at any school and all schools will remain open.

The school also issued a statement on social media, which was sent to parents, confirming there were "no cases of Novel Coronavirus at any schools in this area".

The headteacher said, "I'd like to assure you that there is no additional risk to our pupils or staff above the risk of the general population, which is low".

The DoH said the total number of confirmed cases is 19 Credit: PA Images

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton told ITV News approaches are being taken to "identify cases early" in order to delay the spread of infection.

The Department of Health says two further patients in England have also tested positive, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK up to 19.

In China, where the virus originated, 78,497 cases have been reported, including 2,744 deaths.

World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, told a press conference in Geneva on Thursday that coronavirus has the potential to become a global pandemic but this stage had not been reached.

Coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.

Public health advice remains to wash hands with soap, not rub the face and maintain a distance from people who are coughing and sneezing.

Public Health Wales has stressed the virus itself is much different to flu.

"Because this is a new virus, most of our population in fact almost all of our population will Not have encountered or met this virus before unlike the flu virus", Dr Giri Shankar said.

"Flu virus, we see that circulating in the seasons every year, people receive vaccination against that whereas for the novel coronavirus there is no vaccine yet so it is a different virus to the flu virus."

People returning from areas which have had an outbreak of coronavirus have been advised to self-isolate to minimise the risk of infection to others.The Government advises anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

Northern Italy is another country which has seen a recent outbreak of Covid-19, with people also urged to take steps to minimise the spread of the disease.

  • What are the symptoms?

According to the World Health Organization, Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Cell biologist Dr. Jennifer Rohn answers the most Googled questions about the coronavirus:

What does self isolation actually mean?

  • People to stay at home, expect for when access medical care. You should avoid going to work or using public transports. Good like food should be delivered but tell the delivery driver so that they can leave the items outside.

  • Whilst at home, you should separate yourself from others by staying in a ventilated room. You should use a separate bathroom if possible and avoid sharing household items like towels.

  • If you do need to visit your doctor, you should call ahead of your visit so they can minimise impact with others.

  • Any waste like tissues or masks should be double bagged and kept until you have been cleared of the virus.

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