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Pandemic planning horizon scanning: novel coronavirus UK outbreak

12th February 2013

A recent WHO Technical consultative meeting classified the novel human coronavirus as having significant potential to cause widespread serious consequences, it is therefore something that business continuity mangers should monitor.

The latest identified case of the novel coronavirus was reported yesterday (11th February) by the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA).

HPA stated that it can “confirm the diagnosis of a further case of novel coronavirus infection in a UK resident, who had recently travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan.” The patient is receiving intensive care treatment in a Manchester hospital.

This latest novel coronavirus case brings the total number of confirmed cases globally to 10, of which two have been diagnosed in the UK.

Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA, said:

"The HPA is providing advice to healthcare workers to ensure the patient under investigation is being treated appropriately and that healthcare staff who are looking after the patient are protected. Contacts of the case are also being followed up to check on their health.

“Our assessment is that the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains extremely low and the risk to travellers to the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries remains very low. No travel restrictions are in place but people who develop severe respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, within ten days of returning from these countries should seek medical advice and mention which countries they have visited.

“Since the first case of novel coronavirus was diagnosed in the UK in September 2012, the HPA has maintained increased vigilance for illness caused by this virus, working closely with national and international authorities including the WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). We have also produced updated guidance for health professionals in the UK on the investigation and management of possible cases.”

UPDATE

Further UK case of novel coronavirus
13 February 2013
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has confirmed a further case of novel coronavirus infection in a family member of the case announced on Monday 11 February. The patient, who is a UK resident, does not have any recent travel history and is currently receiving intensive care treatment at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. It is understood that this patient has an existing medical condition that may make them more susceptible to respiratory infections. This latest case brings the total number of confirmed cases globally to 11, of which three have been diagnosed in the UK.

UPDATE 2

Third case of novel coronavirus infection identified in family cluster
15 February 2013
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) can confirm a third case of novel coronavirus infection in a family cluster, following the confirmed diagnosis of two cases announced earlier this week. The patient, who is a UK resident and does not have any recent travel history, is recovering from a mild respiratory illness and is currently well. This latest case brings the total number of confirmed cases globally to 12, of which four have been diagnosed in the UK.

UPDATE 3

UK coronavirus victim dies
19th February 2013
It has been reported by UK national news media that one of the three people infected by the novel coronavirus last week has died in hospital.

Laboratory confirmed cases to date: 12

  • Saudi Arabia: 5 (3 deaths)
  • UK: 4 (1 death)
  • Jordan: 2 (2 deaths)
  • Germany: 1 (0 deaths).

•Date: 12th-19th Feb 2013 • UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: Pandemic planning

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