Coronavirus cases spiked in the UK to 51 as Boris Johnson called a press conference yesterday to announce his containment plan. Amid the global rise in cases, financial markets and healthcare systems are bracing for the worst, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Talking to Phil and Holly on ITV’s This Morning, scientist and vaccine expert Kate Broderick reveals a promising developing in the race to develop a vaccine.
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According to Broderick, a vaccine that may inoculate people against the virus is closer to reaching the clinical trial stage.
Based on the current status of the vaccine, which is showing promising results, Broderick is hoping the vaccine will be administered in controlled groups by the end of the year.
Although they are working towards a “population-number of doses”, it is up to regulatory bodies to thrash out when widespread dissemination of the vaccine will be possible, she says.
Broderick is encouraged by the way the scientific community is pooling together its resources to develop a vaccine, however.
For now, the best weapon against developing the virus is washing your hands regularly, she says.
Why is washing your hands an effective measure?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory infection so it is spread and caught in a similar way to the common cold and flu, reports the NHS.
While it is known exactly how it spreads from person to person, similar viruses are spread in cough droplets, explains the health body.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that are spread in cough droplets.
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Another important measure is to maintain social distancing, according to WHO.
Why? As the health site explains, when someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus.
“If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease,” notes the health body.
It also recommends avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth to avoid catching or spreading the virus.
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Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
When I should I self-isolate?
As the NHS points out, if there’s a chance you could have coronavirus, you may be asked to stay away from other people (self-isolate).
This means you should:
- Stay at home
- Not go to work, school or public places
- Not use public transport or taxis
- Ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
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“You may need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection,” adds the health site.
What is the current UK situation in the UK and how can I stay up to date?
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, as of 3 March, a total of 13,911 people have been tested in the UK, of which 13,860 were confirmed negative. 51 were confirmed as positive.
The public health body will be publishing updated data daily at 2pm until further notice.
This data is accurate as of 9am on the day of publication.
If more cases are confirmed in the UK, it will be announced by the Chief Medical Officer of the affected country.
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