Dr Alastair Miller on Coronavirus – extract – February

“It is still too early to say how this epidemic will develop. The Chinese
have taken very radical containment measures and it seems as though spread
is slowing. Other nations have also adopted a preventative approach and
there has so far been little evidence of person to person transmission out
of China (with the exception of several well publicized cases). It is
possible that the outbreak may “burn out” as the pool of susceptible
individuals in China diminishes as more and more are infected and infection
control measures limit spread outside China). Alternatively, the virus may
become established and be just one of the numerous transmissible respiratory
viruses that we need to consider during the flu season. It is so far
reassuring that there has been no spread within UK although it is inevitable
that there will be as more cases arrive. However, the approach taken by
Public Health England seems to be working and is sensible and proportionate.
It is however, adding to the pressures on NHS emergency services that are
already very hard pressed and can do without this added complication. There
is no doubt that the economic impact of CoVid-19 will be considerable in
addition to its human impact but the current message is not to panic and
adopt the suggested infection control measures, such as frequent hand
washing and self-quarantine where appropriate. The good news is that all the
measures suggested to protect against coronavirus will also reduce the
spread of influenza and other respiratory viruses.”


Consultant Physician in Infectious Disease and Acute and General Medicine

Honorary Senior Lecturer, Institute of Infection & Global Health, University
of Liverpool

Former Consultant to Public Health England

Deputy Medical Director Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board