CONFIRMED: Northants coronavirus patient became infected in Italy

The risk to the general public remains low, according to the director of public health for Northamptonshire County Council

Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 5:44 pm

A patient in Northamptonshire who has coronavirus became infected in Italy, officials have confirmed.

The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed this afternoon (March 3) that a patient in the county has the virus. It has now been announced by the centre director of Public Health England in the East Midlands that the resident became infected while in Italy.

Dr Fu-Meng Khaw said: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with one of the latest confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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The patient was infected by coronavirus while in Italy. Photo: Getty Images

"The case is a resident of Northamptonshire and became infected whilst in Italy

“Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case/s.

"This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”

The confirmed Northamptonshire case is one of 12 that were announced by the department today.

This takes the total UK confirmed cases to 51, but NCC is reassuring people that the risk to the general public remains low.

Lucy Wightman, director of public health for Northamptonshire County Council, said: “I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and the local authority is working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Northamptonshire are protected.

“Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.

“If you have recently been to one of the affected areas and are feeling unwell, you should phone the NHS 111 helpline for further advice straight away – please don’t go to your doctor or a hospital."

Advice on how to protect yourself from coronavirus can be found on the NHS website.