Coronavirus has been confirmed in two Chinese nationals who were guests at the Staycity apartment-hotel in York. The chief medical officer for England announced they’d been taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, and their apartment at the hotel is being thoroughly disinfected.
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A further 83 Britons have been evacuated from Wuhan in China, where the virus started, and are now in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral.
The new coronavirus, its full name Wuhan novel coronavirus, has caused the deaths of 213 people so far, all in China, and cases have been confirmed in Thailand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the US.
Health officials have been urging people to practice good hygiene to help prevent the spread of the virus.
As well as regular hand washing and coughing and sneezing into tissues before disposing of them properly, suggestions have been made on social media to stock up on disinfectant spray Dettol to prevent and even “cure” the virus.
Eagle-eyed social media users spotted a label on the back of a bottle which showed the cleaning product claiming to have been proven to “kill coronavirus”.
Although Dettol says its products rid some coronavirus strains, such as those that cause the common cold, they have not tested it against the Wuhan strain yet.
Paul Hunter, Professor of health protection and medicine, explained to mail Online: “Dettol’s active ingredient is chloroxylenol which is a widely available disinfectant.
“Chloroxylenol is active against a wide range of viruses and bacteria and including coronaviruses.
“Its use is as a surface disinfectant on hard surfaces or on skin and wounds. It can also be incorporated into soaps.”
But Professor Hunter warned against using Detail for anything other than cleaning purposes.
He said: “Chloroxylenol is poisonous if ingested and it should not be used as an aerosol that people may breathe.
“Whether it offers any advantage over standard cleaning and washing with soap and water is unclear.”
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It’s not known exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, but the NHS notes similar viruses are spread by cough droplets.
The health body is advising travellers who have returned from Wuhan or Hubei Province in the last 14 days to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people.
They should also call NHS 111 to notify them of their recent travel to the city.
People in Northern Ireland should call a GP.
The health body continues: “Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.
“If you get a cough, a high temperature, or you feel short of breath, continue to follow this advice. Do not leave your house without getting advice from a doctor.”
Symptoms of coronavirus to look out for include:
- A cough
- A high temperature
- Difficulty breathing
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