Covid-19; A killer virus caused by a new, novel coronavirus that is attacking elderly individuals, and those with underlying health conditions.

The UK Government promotes a 7-day isolation period for those with symptoms of this coronavirus. Symptoms include: • A continuous cough • A high temperature • A shortness of breath Not only will this protect others in your community, you will be able to recognise if it is actually the coronavirus, or if it is the common cold or flu.

Recently, the risk level of the coronavirus was raised to high. This could be due to the current 1,950 cases, 71 deaths and 53 recovered. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson stated that London was the worst hit in the whole of the UK. Museums, Theatres and other places of mass gatherings have been banned to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The Mayor of London tweeted: ‘In line with the most recent medical advice, all events in Trafalgar Square are cancelled until further notice. We must take all necessary precautions to ensure the health of all people in London'. Even public transport companies have begun to run a scaled-down timetable since Monday this week.

The United Kingdom is one of the first countries outside of China to have a specific prototype laboratory for research of this new virus. Experts at Oxford University are supporting European governments to explore the suitability of a coronavirus mobile app to trace instant contacts. If widely used, the experts believe that it could significantly contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Vaccine development for the coronavirus is still underway, though it is thought that it will be another year until it is mass produced. Therefore, social distancing is the most important method to contain the coronavirus. Targeted social distancing may be best at the moment as research has shown that the virus affects elderly people and those with underlying health conditions.

In comparison to Influenza and SARS, it is suggested that the coronavirus will spread more slowly, but last longer. Influenza is usually limited by warmer weather. It is uncertain whether or not the warm weather will limit the spread of this novel coronavirus, or extinguish it completely. Therefore, it is important to isolate and quarantine yourself if think you have any symptoms above.

By Gursiman Ghataura