Two new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19)

5 Mar 2020 11:03 AM

Public have vital role to play in helping contain any outbreak.

Two further patients in Scotland have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to three.

Both patients are currently clinically well and are receiving appropriate clinical care. Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to give any more details.

One patient is resident in the Grampian area, the second patient is resident in the Ayrshire area. One patient has recently travelled to northern Italy and the other has had contact with a known positive case – this contact was not with the first positive case confirmed in Scotland.

Clinicians have begun contact tracing, the process of gathering details of the places they have visited and the people they have been in contact with.  It is important to note that this tracing process does not involve people the patients may have passed on the street or in a shop – as the risk in these situations is very low. Close contact involves either face-to-face contact or spending more than 15 minutes within two metres of an infected person. Those at risk of infection will be contacted by health protection teams for further advice. Those who are not contacted are not at risk.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman yesterday said:

“Our first thoughts must be with the patients diagnosed with coronavirus, I wish them a full and speedy recovery.

“We expect the number of cases to rise and Scotland is well-prepared for a significant outbreak of coronavirus. There is currently no treatment or vaccine so early detection measures will continue to be vital in helping to prevent the spread of the virus.

“People have a vital role to play in helping us contain any outbreak by following the latest health and travel advice, and following basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.” 

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood yesterday said:

“Firstly our thoughts are with those who have been diagnosed, and with their families.

“Scotland is well equipped to deal with infections of this kind. We have a proven track record of dealing with challenging health issues, and have been preparing for this possibility since the beginning of the outbreak.

“We practice and prepare our response to disease outbreaks and follow tried and tested procedures, following the highest safety standards possible for the protection of NHS staff, patients and the public.”

Background

The positive sample has been sent to Public Health England’s Colindale laboratory in London for a confirmatory test. Scottish Laboratories will send all positive samples to Public Health England’s WHO designated Colindale laboratory for confirmatory testing.

Advice for travellers who have visited affected areas is available at NHS Inform.  

More advice on travel can be found on Fit for Travel and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

NHS Inform Q&A

Up to date information on the situation in Scotland is being published by Scottish Government.

Under the terms of International Health Regulations, high consequence infectious diseases like coronavirus (COVID-19) are reportable to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A coronavirus is a type of virus. Typical symptoms include fever, a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune symptoms, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China. This is a rapidly evolving situation which is being monitored carefully.

Specific guidance on handling the coronavirus has been shared with NHS staff.

For patient confidentiality reasons we cannot give out information that would identify any patients.

There have been a total of 914 negative test results in Scotland since the start of the outbreak.

According to Scottish and UK protocol all patients presenting with a history and symptoms which may be suggestive of coronavirus will be isolated and appropriate infection prevention and control measures put in place.