THE TRAVEL DOCTOR
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Do you know which medicines you should take with you on your travels?

By accessing the interactive part of this web site you can obtain a list of all the medicines necessary for your trip.

Whether you are going on a holiday to a beach resort or a full blown expedition to some remote location.

However long you will be away or however many people will be in your group, wherever you are going and whatever you are doing, you can obtain your own customised list.

To access this special service:-

 
Member of the
British Travel Health
Association

 
 
 
 
 
 

Do you know which medicines you should take with you on your travels?

By accessing the interactive part of this web site you can obtain a list of all the medicines necessary for your trip.

Whether you are going on a holiday to a beach resort or a full blown expedition to some remote location.

However long you will be away or however many people will be in your group, wherever you are going and whatever you are doing, you can obtain your own customised list.

To access this special service:-

 
Member of the
British Travel Health
Association

 
 
 
Member of the
British Travel Health
Association

 
 

Do you know which medicines you should take with you on your travels?

By accessing the interactive part of this web site you can obtain a list of all the medicines necessary for your trip.

Whether you are going on a holiday to a beach resort or a full blown expedition to some remote location.

However long you will be away or however many people will be in your group, wherever you are going and whatever you are doing, you can obtain your own customised list.

To access this special service:-

 
Member of the
British Travel Health
Association

 
 
 
Member of the
British Travel Health
Association

 
 
 
 
 

Home Introduction Information Main Page Links
Coronavirus - Covid-19
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2019–20 coronavirus pandemic
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019, and was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March.

As of 28 March 2020, more than 622,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over 190 countries and territories, resulting in approximately 28,800 deaths.More than 137,000 people have since recovered.

What are Coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically cause respiratory symptoms.that range from the common cold to MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus, and SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

There are no specific treatments or cure for coronaviruses, but symptoms can be treated.

How do they spread?

Corona viruses can circulate between animals and some of these coronaviruses have the capability of transmitting between animals and humans. This is known as a spillover event.

The first infections of Covid-19 were linked to a live animal market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that some viruses like Covid-19 are highly contagious while others are less so.

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets passed between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 2 metres) produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.


It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from contaminated surfaces. Howver, Covid-19 appears to be able to survive on surfaces for longer periods than other coronaviruses. Further reseach is required to confirm this.

Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the toilet.

At this time,there is no evidence to suggest that this new coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes or ticks.

Coronavirus Can Live On Surfaces For 3 Days - New Research Reveals
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is primarily a respiratory illness, and it typically spreads in the air from an infected person’s cough or sneeze.

A new study from the Nation Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests the Coronavirus can last between three hours and three days on surfaces, depending on the material and temperature.

The study, authored by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests the virus can live up to four hours on copper, up to a day on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The Coronavirus can also live in the air for up to three hours.

The current pandemic (March 2020) has led to severe global socioeconomic disruption, the postponement or cancellation of sporting, religious, and cultural events, and widespread fears of supply shortages which have spurred panic buying amongst the public.

Misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus have spread online, and there have been incidents of xenophobia and racism against Chinese and other East and Southeast Asian people.

Who is at risk?

Basically everyone is at risk of contracting the virus since it is a new strain and there has yet no natural immunity developed. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease.

Many people who are infected suffer nothing more than mild flu-like symptoms.

However some people are at greater risk than others.
Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People aged 70 years and older.

  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.

  • People who have heart disease with complications.

  • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment.

  • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)=40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk.

  • Women who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk.

Efforts to prevent the virus spreading include travel restrictions, quarantines, curfews, workplace hazard controls, event postponements and cancellations, and facility closures. various border closures or incoming passenger restrictions, screening at airports and train stations, and outgoing passenger travel bans.Schools and universities have closed in more than 124 countries.

How to protect yourself from getting coronaviruses.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-perso between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 2 metres).

Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Clean your hands often; Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Basic hand hygiene, such as washing your hands with soap and water and respiratory hygiene, such as when you sneeze, sneezing into your elbow. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

How dangerous id Covid-19?

There is no doubt that coronavirus can be lethal. There have already been thousands of deaths due to coronavirus worldwide and the number of fatalities from the new coronavirus has overwhelmingly surpassed the toll of the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, which also originated in China.

SARS killed about 9 percent of those it infected - nearly 800 people worldwide and more than 300 in China alone. MERS, which did not spread as widely, was more deadly, killing one-third of those infected.

While the new coronavirus is more widespread than SARS in terms of case numbers, the mortality rate remains considerably lower at approximately 3.4 percent, according to the WHO. The elderly and the unwell are more likely to die, if they contract coronavirus.

Current estimates are that the death rate is almost 10 times higher than average for those over 80, and much lower for those under 40. However, The UK government's chief medical advisor, says even though the rates are higher for older people, "the great majority of older people will still have a mild or moderate disease".

He also warns that we should not think it's a trivial infection for younger people, pointing out that there are some young people who have ended up in intensive care. It's not just age that determines the outcome of infections.

The first big analysis of more than 44,000 cases from China showed that death rates were at least five times higher among confirmed cases with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart or breathing problems.

All of these factors interact with each other and there is no complete picture of the risk for every type of person in every location. And even though patterns in the death rates among confirmed cases can tell us who is most at risk, they can't tell us about the precise risk in any single group.

The UK government's scientific advisers believe that the chances of dying from a coronavirus infection are between 0.5% and 1%.

This is lower than the rate of death among confirmed cases - which is 4% globally in WHO figures and 5% in the UK as of March 23 - because not all infections are confirmed by testing.

Each country has its own way of deciding who gets tested, so comparing case numbers or apparent death rates across countries can also be misleading.

Most cases of most viruses go uncounted because people tend not to visit the doctor with mild symptoms.

On 17 March 2020, the chief scientific adviser for the UK, estimated there were about 55,000 cases in the UK, when the confirmed case count was just under 2,000. Dividing deaths by 2,000 will give you a much higher death rate than dividing by 55,000.


Most cases are never counted!

That's one of the biggest reasons why the death rates among confirmed cases are a bad estimate of the true death rates: overestimating the severity by missing cases.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed (COVID-19) cases.

These common symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever

  • Shortness of breath

  • Cough


Some patients may also have a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion and aches and pains or diarrhoea.

Some people report losing their sense of taste and/or smell.

About 80% of people who get Covid-19 experience a mild case – about as serious as a regular cold – and recover without needing any special treatment.

When to Seek Medical Attention


If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion or inability to arouse

  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive.

Severe disease

If the disease progresses it will be due to the immune system overreacting to the virus causing inflammation, but this needs to be delicately balanced. Too much inflammation can cause collateral damage throughout the body. The virus is triggering an imbalance in the immune response, causing too much inflammation.

Inflammation of the lungs is called pneumonia.In pneumonia the tiny sacs where oxygen moves into the blood and carbon dioxide moves out start to fill with water and can eventually cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
Some people will need a ventilator to help them breathe.

Critical disease

It is estimated around 6% of cases become critically ill.
By this point the body is starting to fail and there is a real chance of death.

The problem is the immune system is now spiralling out of control and causing damage throughout the body.

It can lead to septic shock when the blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels and organs stop working properly or fail completely.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by widespread inflammation in the lungs stops the body getting enough oxygen it needs to survive. It can stop the kidneys from cleaning the blood and damage the lining of your intestines.

The virus sets up such a huge degree of inflammation that you succumb... it becomes multi-organ failure,dy where it can cause even more damage.

And if the immune system cannot get on top of the virus, then it will eventually spread to every corner of the body where it can cause even more damage.

Treatment by this stage will be highly invasive and can include ECMO or extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation.
This is essentially an artificial lung that takes blood out of the body through thick tubes, oxygenates it and pumps it back in.

But eventually the damage can reach fatal levels at which organs can no longer keep the body alive.

Should I be concerned?

Yes, because nobody knows who are going to be in the 6% of patients who become critical. If you have one or more of the underlying risks mentioned earlier, there is even greater cause for concern.


Travel

This is one disease that you don't have to travel abroad to encounter. Since January of 2020 when it was first mentioned in the media as being in China it has spread to vitually every country worldwide in a couple of months.


The British Government has published a huge amount of information for travellers on line:

For the latest information regarding foreign travel and returning to UK from abroad you should visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office web site at:


https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

 

Breaking News (2nd April 2020)

The world’s second-biggest cigarette maker claims to have made a “significant breakthrough” in the race to find a vaccine for the coronavirus and would be ready to start mass production within three months.

British American Tobacco (BAT), said it could be producing up to 3 million doses of a vaccine a week by June - far faster than rivals, which are expecting to take at least a year.

BAT intends to start trialling its vaccine in humans as soon as possible. It is running pre-clinical tests and holding urgent talks with US drug authorities to fast-track permissions.

The treatment is being developed by the company's health division Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), which has previously come up with a drug to combat Ebola. It claims to have found an antibody that appears to fight Covid-19, and is manufacturing this using genetically modified tobacco plants.

More established medical firms have said the timeline for delivering a vaccine is far slower.

The company has opened talks with the Department for Health as well as US regulators. “BAT is now exploring partnerships with government agencies to bring its vaccine to clinical studies as soon as possible."

     
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