COVID-19 – first case in Bradford – A Public Health England briefing
The UK Chief Medical Officer has confirmed that 12 further patients have tested positive for COVID-19 infection today (1 March 2020) bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 35.
One of these cases is a resident of Bradford and became infected whilst in Italy. The other cases (including two cases from Leeds), are not connected at all and are from elsewhere in the country.
Public Health England, Bradford Council and the local NHS are working closely together in West Yorkshire to respond.
Public Health England is currently contacting people who may have had close contact with the confirmed case. Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after they had contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure that any risk to them is minimised and the wider public is protected.
We will not be commenting further on the details of this particular case due to the need to protect patient confidentiality.
PHE and the NHS are well-prepared to deal with coronavirus and the priority is to safeguard local communities which sometimes involves taking preventative measures to help reduce the risk of further cases.
The UK is well prepared for these types of incidents and there is rapid and effective testing undertaken by PHE for this virus. The NHS has expert teams of highly-trained staff and specialist hospital units around the country ready to receive and care for any patients with any highly infectious disease. The NHS adheres to the highest safety standards for the protection of its staff, patients and the public.
Based on current evidence, Coronavirus COVID-19 presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.
Anyone who is concerned about health symptoms is advised to follow the advice about what to do on the Government’s website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
The multi-agency response team will update this briefing for partners as more information becomes available.