/Coronavirus update: How many people in the UK have it and death count

Coronavirus update: How many people in the UK have it and death count

The novel coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has a population of 11m people, in December.

It has led to large parts of China being placed under quarantine, with flights and transport being grounded and Lunar New Year celebrations being cancelled as China attempts to prevent others from becoming infected.

Cases have also been reported in other parts of the world including Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Canada, the US, France and Germany.

Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?


A man wearing a face mask walks past a Coronavirus notice at Heathrow Airport in London
There is no current cure for the Wuhan Coronavirus, with scientists working on a vaccine (Picture: EPA)

At present there is no vaccine for coronavirus – although several different organisations are working to create one.

Those reported to be working on a potential vaccine include National Institutes of Health as well as other private companies including Inovio, Novavax, Johnson and Johnson and Moderna – the latter working directly with US government health agencies.

Despite all the combined efforts it could still be a while before a vaccine against the current coronavirus is ready.

A spokesman for the Institutes said that it could be a few months before the first clinical trials get underway, and a year or more before it’s available.

Meanwhile Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who are also reported to be working on a vaccine, have said that if one were developed it would most likely be given to healthcare workers first due to their exposure to patients suffering from coronavirus.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?


Coronavirus structure
The coronavirus causes respiratory tract infection and can cause pneumonia in more severe cases (Picture: Science Photo Library)

The early symptoms of the virus include a dry cough, a fever, shortness of breath and a sore throat.

While many of those affected have shown only mild symptoms, some have gone on to develop fluid in the lungs consistent with viral pneumonia.

The virus is more likely to progress into a severe illness or prove fatal among older patients or those with weakened immune systems.

There is no specific cure for the coronavirus – as it’s a viral infection, antibiotics won’t help.

The World Health Organisation has suggested avoiding close contact with anyone suffering from an acute respiratory infection and ensuing that coughs and sneezes are covered with disposable tissues or clothing.

They also recommend regular hand-washing as well as  avoiding unprotected contact with wild or farm animals.

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