Brighton student hospitalised over coronavirus fears

Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton
Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton

A University of Sussex student has been admitted to hospital to be tested for coronavirus.

An ambulance was called to the Falmer campus today after the student, who had recently returned from overseas, became unwell.

A spokesperson for the university said: “We can confirm a student on our campus has been admitted to hospital today for tests.

“We are yet to hear if they have been tested positive for Coronavirus.

“The student had recently returned from overseas.

“We are following all Public Health England guidance in terms of practical next steps and we will be keeping our students and staff at the University informed if there are any developments.

“This is a difficult time for the young person involved, and their fellow students, and we are concerned at making sure they are supported.”

This comes after four more people in Brighton were tested positive for the virus – bringing the total number of UK cases to eight.

Meanwhile, a GP practice in Brighton closed today (Monday) as a member of staff had contracted coronavirus.

It is understood County Oak medical centre has been shut for cleaning as a precaution, and the staff member has not been in contact with patients.

Current patients are being contacted by the GP with the latest information.

It is understood the practice will remain closed for the rest of the day (Monday) but could be opening tomorrow.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said today, “Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases.

“They successfully identified these individuals and ensured the appropriate support was provided.

“The patients have been transferred to specialist NHS centres at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and The Royal Free hospitals, and we are now using robust infection control measures to prevent further spread of the virus.

“The NHS is extremely well prepared to manage these cases and treat them, and we are working quickly to identify any further contacts these patients have had.”

Emergency treatment pods have been set up at hospitals across Sussex to assess people presenting with coronavirus.

Anyone who has travelled from anywhere in China in the last 14 days and developed symptoms of a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, is advised to immediately isolate themselves and call NHS 111.

The advice on how people can protect themselves from infection is similar to the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ campaign used for flu and norovirus.

It promotes important hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.

The advice to the public is to:

• Always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes, and bin the tissue

• Wash hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel, to kill germs

Coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing.

The NHS says the current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.

For the latest advice visit gov.uk/coronavirus.