Advice to give patients
Public Health England has produced guidance to assist professionals in advising the general public.
Usual hygiene measures to prevent infections spreading should be followed:
- Regular hand washing
- Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue
- Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing (WHO). We have produced a handwashing guide.
Further advice for the public on how to slow the spread of coronavirus can be found in the PHE UK-wide public information campaign.
The advice from Public Health authorities does not recommend the use of face masks outside clinical settings. PHE has issued an advice sheet for people who live in the same accommodation as the patient. This includes information on wearing a facemask if advised to do so.
The World Health Organization guidance on when to use a mask says:
If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
WHO also advise wearing a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
Further information on the use of face masks can be found on the WHO website.
Advise travellers from Wuhan and Hubei province to stay at home and avoid contact with people and public places for 14 days and call NHS 111 (England), NHS 24 (Scotland) or NHS Direct Wales to inform them of your recent travel to the area.
All travellers who develop relevant symptoms (fever or cough or shortness of breath), however mild, within 14 days of returning from other parts of China and other specified areas, should self-isolate at home immediately and call NHS 111 (England), NHS 24 (Scotland) or NHS Direct Wales.