Clinical advice on Coronovirus from Simplyhealth
Simplyhealth has published today some clinical advice for customers on how to protect themselves from Coronavirus.
On Tuesday 3 March, the UK Government outlined its action plan to deal with a possible major Coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
The Clinical team at Simplyhealth has provided a summary for customers to provide full detail on what is currently known, how people can protect themselves, where to find help and advice, and how Simplyhealth can support them.
Coronavirus is a respiratory disease. You may remember the SARS outbreak some years ago. This was also a Coronavirus, which is why people have become so concerned. We wanted to try to reassure our customers that by following some simple hygiene steps, such as washing hands regularly, you can help to minimise any risk of infection.
At the beginning of March 2020, about 90,000 people have been infected globally since the outbreak, with cases in over 50 countries and more than 3,000 deaths. At the current time there are 87 confirmed cases of the virus in the UK, with the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, warning on 3 March 2020 that it is ‘highly likely’ the UK will see further infection.
What we currently know about Coronavirus
Most cases of Coronavirus are mild and symptoms seem to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness, as they are similar to that of the common cold or flu. In more severe cases, Coronavirus can cause older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) to become severely ill and they are at a greater risk.
How to protect yourself
You are unlikely to be at risk of contracting Coronavirus unless you have had close contact with someone who is infected. It is also advisable to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands, and avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
The definition of close contact is:
- Living in the same house
- Contact with their body fluids
- Face-to-face contact, for example talking for more than a few minutes
- Being coughed on
- Being within 2 metres of the person for more than 15 minutes
The Simplyhealth Clinical team advise people to continue to go about their day to day activities, but remember to follow basic hygiene advice such as:
- Catch it - cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or sleeve, when you cough or sneeze
- Bin it - throw away tissues immediately after use
- Kill it - wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap
Where to find help and advice
If you think you may have been in close contact with someone with confirmed Coronavirus, or you are displaying any symptoms, you are advised to stay at home and call NHS 111 for further advice.
The Government has issued clinical guidance to healthcare professionals on what to look for and how to act. Further information and advice from the NHS can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/wuhan-novel-coronavirus/
How Simplyhealth can support you
Customers with a Simplyhealth Plan have 24/7 access to GPs and Physiotherapists, including the benefit of video GP consultations.
Simplyhealth’s Telephone Counselling Service also provides customers with direct access to Counsellors, giving them the opportunity to talk about any worries or concerns they may have. The Counsellors can help with a range of topics from financial and legal advice, to relationship and travel information. Simply call 0800 975 3347 any day, any time for free confidential help.
Simplyhealth is continuing to monitor the situation in the UK and will update their advice and support as things develop.
Since 1872 we’ve been helping people access healthcare through our health plans, charity partnerships and by being a voice in healthcare.
Today we’re delighted to be the UK’s leading provider of health plans, dental plans and pet health plans, which help individuals, families, employees and pets to get support with their health when they need it.
We don’t have shareholders which means we are totally focused on making sure no one goes without the healthcare support they need, and why we are passionate about being a voice in healthcare and partnering with charities to reduce health inequality.
Last year we donated £1.13 million to our charity partners which equates to over 10% of our pre-tax profits.
To find out more visit www.simplyhealth.co.uk