People have been advised to use tissues and wash their hands regularly to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the UK
The Government has launched a public health campaign after the first cases of the deadly bug, which has killed more than 250 people in China, were confirmed in this country.
Adverts telling people how to protect themselves and others are being shared via social media, in newspapers and on the radio from today, Sunday, February 2.
A new poster assures people the Government and the NHS are ‘well prepared’ to deal with the virus, but adds ‘you can help too’.
It states that germs can live on some surfaces for hours, and advises people to:
Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze
Bin the tissue, and to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel
If you have arrived back from China within 14 days follow the specific advice for returning travellers
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “Basic hygiene such as washing our hands regularly and using tissues when we cough and sneeze can play an important role in minimising the spread of viruses like this.”
The first two UK cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Friday.
The patients - one student at the University of York and their relative - are being treated at a specialist unit in Newcastle.
The risk level of the illness in the UK was last week raised from low to moderate, and the World Health Organisation declared an international public health emergency.
The Department of Health said anyone who has travelled to the UK from anywhere else in China, not including Macao or Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath should immediately self-isolate and call the NHS line 111 or if in Northern Ireland contact their GP.
A spokesman for the department declined to disclose how much had been spent on the campaign, but said it may be extended if the need arises.