Image Credit: Patrick Hook-Willers
The Coronavirus outbreak has officially reached the United Kingdom, as two people staying at the StayCity hotel on Paragon Street, adjacent to the York Barbican, were today confirmed as having tested positive for the virus
Speculation had been growing overnight after witnesses reported seeing paramedics in bio hazard suits treating patients in an ambulance outside the hotel's premises.
The two patients, who are understood to be family members, have been taken for treatment at a specialist infectious diseases unit in Newcastle, one of two in the country, which has remained permanently on standby for outbreaks such as this since the Ebola epidemic of 2014.
StayCity York today said: “As of 16:00 today we have now received confirmation that the two guests staying in one of our apartments in York have tested positive for the Coronavirus.”
Rachel Maskell, MP for York Inner told Nouse that: “in the last hour we’ve been briefed regarding how Public Health England are managing the virus.”
She added that Public Health England were: “making contact at the moment with anyone who had contact with the individuals concerned.” She told us that: Public Health England were hoping that within the next forty-eight hours “they’d been able to contain and manage the situation.”
The cases come after the University of York, last week, advised students to take appropriate precautions and that any students who “develop symptoms and have had contact with someone who has recently been in the affected areas of China,” should ring the NHS 111 helpline.
Yesterday the virus was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation. There are now cases of the new Coronavirus in every region of China, with the virus also spreading to twenty-three countries around the world. Now infecting over 9,000 people, this strain of the Coronavirus has now infected more people than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003.
Despite its contagiousness, the fatality rate of the new Coronavirus is dramatically lower than SARS at only two per cent. The worldwide death toll of the virus currently stands at 170 people.
Nouse will update you as the story develops.