Updated 30th March 2020 - We recommend the coronavirus page on the NHS website for more up to date information.

Coronavirus – everything you need to know

Following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) you might be wondering about the risk in the UK.

The risk to the public has been raised to high the government state; “The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 have been put in place to reduce the risk of further human-to-human transmission in this country by keeping individuals in isolation where public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus."*

We’re here to answer any questions you may have and help you look after yourself and your family.

What is the coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.**

Do I need to worry about catching coronavirus?

You are most at risk of catching the virus if you:

  • are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system
  • have had an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe chest condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have another serious health condition

The UK government and NHS have also issued guidance on the risk to the public as well as how you can protect yourself.

How can I stop the spread?

As it’s a new illness, the exact nature of how it spreads from person-to-person isn’t fully understood, although similar viral infections are often spread through the droplets released when coughing.


To help stop the spread of coronavirus everyone must stay at home, you should only leave your home:

  • When shopping for food and medicine. Try to make as few trips as possible
  • For one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • For any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • When travelling to and from work, but only if you can't work from home

Visit the NHS or GOV.UK website for more guidance.

Coronavirus symptoms:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have symptoms stay at home and self-isolate. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital, do not leave your home, instead use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111.

What can I do to protect myself against respiratory viral infections?

To look after your health, we recommend you follow these simple steps to protect yourself and those around you against respiratory viral infections:

  • Washing your hands – be sure to wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds throughout the day, especially after coughing, being on public transport or before/after handling food. For extra protection we recommend keeping hand sanitiser with you at all times as it's easy-to-carry and cleanses without the need for rinsing.
  • Throw tissues in the bin – when coughing or sneezing, it’s always best to cover your mouth with a tissue to stop bacteria-carrying droplets from spreading to those around you. It’s important to throw your tissues in the bin with a lid after each use.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who appear unwell – it’s always nice to offer help to a poorly friend or colleague but try to do it from a distance to avoid the spread of germs.

We recommend visiting the coronavirus page on the NHS website for more information.

If you’re worried or have any more questions you can speak to a member of your healthcare team for more advice, find your local store now.

A statement from Toby Anderson, Managing Director, McKesson UK CEO. Read more here.

 

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References

www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/novel-coronavirus-wuhan-china-infection

*www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

**www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/