Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a novel RNA virus which has been named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). You may also see reference to nCov, Wuhan Virus, coronavirus (there are several other types), novel beta coronavirus and 2019-nCov. This virus can lead to a life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pneumonia. It originated in Wuhan, China, but there is no clarity as to its source. The virus has spread globally and is destroying livelihoods and economies across the world. The latest information from the World Health Organisation can be found here:
Advice on how to recognise symptoms and protect yourself, can be found here:
The stand out feature of this virus is its ability to infect people who are asymptomatic, but can still be infective to others. Infection requires individuals to transmit virus containing particles between each other, so proximity is key. Other factors such as spread though air conditioning (between supermarket aisles for example) and survival of the virus on surfaces (reported to be up to 72 hours) may also have a significant role.
The need for testing of asymptomatic individuals is absolutely vital if we are going to control the virus and get businesses running again. This can only be done by the using molecular tests for the virus itself. These RT- PCR tests specifically detect the virus particles and a positive result suggests the need for immediate self isolation. If you have enquiries about such testing, please contact us here.
If you have symptoms, you should immediately contact NHS direct who will put you on the test and trace programme.