Durham student in “self-isolation” following Coronavirus scare

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A student at Durham University is in self-isolation after falling ill amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

The student, from Durham’s John Snow College, called NHS 111 around 10:30pm on Tuesday night after feeling flu-like symptoms, and was quickly rushed to a hospital, which the college attributed in an email to the “current heightened sensitivity around the coronavirus.” Since their release from hospital, the student has entered self-isolation in a contained student apartment at University College, located in and around Durham Castle, to make this “easier” for them.

A student of the college said: “I saw two ambulances outside my block. They were bringing the student back and escorting them into their halls after taking them away earlier.”

John Snow College issued an email to students, describing a “serious incident”, and cancelling a formal planned for Wednesday night. However, Durham University later said that no major incident had occurred and that there are now no suspected cases of Coronavirus at the University, and could reveal no more information on the case due to patient confidentiality. The North East Ambulance Service also did not comment, but advised that anything related to Coronavirus should be handled by Public Health England or the Department for Health and Social Care.

It is on the instruction of Public Health England that the student has entered self-isolation, after they had been taken by “a special response unit” to a local hospital for tests before being “discharged later” according to the email sent out yesterday on Wednesday. The student’s move to a separate flat was subsequently organised, and “welfare support has been provided for the students who shared the flat”.

Given the speed at which the student was returned to college, it can be assumed that their risk of infection is low, however, the virus causes flu-like symptoms, and despite its low mortality rate, currently estimated at 2%, is highly infectious, a possible cause of the global mass hysteria and heavy press coverage.

Of over 450 UK citizens tested for the virus, only two test results have returned positive.

Last modified: 10th February 2020

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