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First case of coronavirus confirmed in Channel Islands

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THE first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the Channel Islands.

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A patient in Guernsey has been diagnosed after they returned to the island from Tenerife and showed symptoms including a cough, fever and shortness of breath, the island's director of public health Dr Nicola Brink has confirmed.

Dr Brink said in a statement: 'The patient has a clear travel history, indicating the likely source of infection. This underlines our consistent messaging to the community that if you return from a Group B country and show symptoms, however mild, you should contact the coronavirus helpline for advice and to get tested’.

The patient concerned sought help promptly, a spokesperson in Guernsey said, and is 'doing well and being supported by the relevant health care professionals'.

The spokesperson added: 'It is important to note that the vast majority of cases (over 80%), infection with the virus causing COVID-19 is mild. Unlike flu, current indications are that individuals who are showing no symptoms (asymptomatic) are unlikely to be contagious.

'All health and social care professionals are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus. We ask that the community respects the privacy of the individual concerned as we work to provide them with the best possible care.

'The Bailiwick is extremely well prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts to contain any further spread.

'The Bailiwick has been preparing for a case of novel coronavirus and we have robust measures in place to respond immediately. We are continuing to work with Public Health England for advice and guidance.'

Three women from Jersey who travelled to Tenerife and were staying in a hotel that had several confirmed case of the virus are currently self-isolating having returned home last Thursday.

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
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