Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis > News > Uncategorised > Coronavirus: What we know so far

Coronavirus: What we know so far

We understand that many people with pulmonary fibrosis and their families may be concerned at the Coronavirus epidemic described by the World Health Organisation as ‘a global public health emergency’.

Coronavirus is a respiratory illness which can cause mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat and cough but may also cause breathing difficulties, pneumonia and death. The impact can be most severe in people with existing lung conditions, like PF. 

Current advice is to continue with day to day activities but if that changes, we will update you via our website, Facebook page, Twitter and email.

So far, the vast majority of cases and deaths have been in China with just nine confirmed cases in the UK and no deaths. As of 17 February, a total of 4,501 people have been tested, of which 4,492 were confirmed negative and 9 positive.

The virus is spread by contact with an infected person and through droplets expressed via coughs and sneezes. People with PF are vigilant during the winter months when coughs, cold and flu are widespread. The sensible precautions you would normally take to avoid those illnesses are also recommended by WHO to protect against Coronavirus.

  • Viruses can be picked up from contaminated surfaces – from a supermarket trolley to a handrail – so avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Use hand sanitiser when out and about
  • Wash your hands frequently with hot, soapy water
  • If you feel unwell call 111 and follow their advice

You can read more about keeping well during the Winter on Page Five 5 of the APF Newsletter here.

If you are planning to travel, either here or abroad, keep up to date with the latest advice from your travel company, your travel insurance provider and the Foreign Office.

There is huge media coverage of the Coronavirus epidemic but we would advise looking at these trusted websites for the facts.

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