Novel Coronavirus: latest information and advice

20 February 2020

With stories about the Novel Coronavirus outbreak being widely reported in the news on a daily basis, it’s natural to feel worried. This is an update for you on the outbreak of Coronavirus in China, the current situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms.


What is Novel Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold, to more severe conditions such as pneumonia. However, the strain of Coronavirus (COVID-19) that began in Wuhan, China, is new (Novel).

What are the symptoms of Novel Coronavirus?

The main symptoms of Novel coronavirus include:

  • respiratory symptoms (like those you have with a cold)
  • fever (high temperature)
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties

In more severe cases the virus can cause pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – a severe form of pneumonia, kidney failure and death.

The situation in the UK

The situation is being monitored closely and there are plans in place to manage a potential outbreak of diseases like this. The NHS is responsible for managing any cases and containing the outbreak. The NHS has the expertise and its hospitals are equipped to care for patients in isolation, unlike UK private hospitals.

In the UK, health insurance is designed to complement the NHS by covering planned treatment and procedures, as opposed to managing emergency treatment or offering primary care. That’s why our Bupa UK policies don’t cover treatment for any pandemic disease or epidemic including the Novel Coronavirus.

If you or any of your employees are concerned that they may have Novel Coronavirus symptoms, they should call their GP or call NHS 111.

Travelling to China

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised that you don’t travel to mainland China unless it’s absolutely necessary.

If you would like further information through official channels you can look on the following websites:

The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The World Health Organisation (WHO)

Further advice and support

Here’s some additional information from our Medical Director, Dr Luke James about causes, symptoms and travel.

[Click here to find out more - https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/coronavirus]

We are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide further updates in due course if the situation changes.

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