Bedford Hospital has confirmed they are treating a patient with coronavirus (COVID-19).
It is the first case in Bedford.
In a statement to the Bedford Independent just before midnight yesterday (15 March), a spokesperson for the hospital said: “In order to protect patient confidentiality at all times, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust does not comment on individual patient cases.
“However in light of the current global activity with COVID-19 (coronavirus) we can confirm we are treating a patient with confirmed COVID-19 at the hospital.”
The hospital would not say if the patient was considered to be at high risk from the virus.
“We would like to reassure patients that all necessary Infection Prevention and Control Processes and Procedures have been carried out from admission,” added the spokesperson.
The hospital also asked people who think they have the virus to stay at home for seven days if you have either:
- a high temperature
- a new continuous cough
They also advise people not to attend a GP surgery, pharmacy or the hospital, but to use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service at 111.nhs.uk if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after seven days
Only call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online. Full Public Health advice including how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus can be found on the NHS website.
Recovery rate remains high
At the time of publication, the number of confirmed UK cases stands at 1,373, with 40,279 people tested, according to the latest Department of Health figures.
80% of people who get COVID-19 only have mild symptoms and the survival rate is reported to be around 96% to 99%.
While it is more dangerous for the elderly and those with underlying conditions, studies in China found that 90% of those in their 80s who caught the illness survived.
In a statement on their website earlier this week, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust said “Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations.
“This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate.
“Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.”
The advice from the NHS and the Government on how people can protect themselves from the virus also remains consistent:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.