First case of coronavirus confirmed in County Durham bringing total number of North East cases to seven

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One person has tested positive for cornavirus in County Durham, Public Health England have confirmed.

It is the first case of coronavirus in County Durham, which comes after one person was diagnosed with the condition in Sunderland, four people in Newcastle, and one person diagnosed in North Tyneside.

This brings the number of coronavirus cases in the North East to seven.

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There are no confirmed cases in Gateshead, South Tyneside, Northumberland or Hartlepool, as of 9am on Tuesday, March 10.

A patient COVID-19 swab is taken out from a sterile tube as lab technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in the microbiology laboratory inside the Specialist Virology Centre at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 10, 2020. As of Friday 6 March, 634 people in Wales have been tested for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA WireA patient COVID-19 swab is taken out from a sterile tube as lab technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in the microbiology laboratory inside the Specialist Virology Centre at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 10, 2020. As of Friday 6 March, 634 people in Wales have been tested for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
A patient COVID-19 swab is taken out from a sterile tube as lab technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in the microbiology laboratory inside the Specialist Virology Centre at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 10, 2020. As of Friday 6 March, 634 people in Wales have been tested for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire | PA (Press Association)

The case has been confirmed as being a resident in Darlington and those close to the individual are receiving health advice about symptoms of coronavirus and who to contact if they become unwell.

Miriam Davidson, Darlington’s Director of Public Health, said: “We send our very best wishes to the person affected and wish them a full recovery.

“We are working closely with Public Health England and the NHS to share accurate, relevant information with the public and our partners.

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“It is important that people use official sources of information for updates - our website, www.darlington.gov.uk/coronavirus has links to all the official latest advice from the Government and NHS.

“To help prevent further spread of the virus please continue to follow good hand washing and hygiene practices.”

Dr Kirsty Foster, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health England North East said: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

“The case is a resident of Darlington and 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 cases.

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

In a statement on its website, Public Health England said: “As of 9am on March 10, 2020, 324 people have been confirmed as positive for COVID-19.

“Six patients who tested positive have died.”

Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were first reported in Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and since then, further cases of the virus have been confirmed in a number of countries.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued guidance for British people travelling and living overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China, and in other countries worldwide.

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It is urging people to stay indoors and avoid contact with others if they have travelled to the UK from the places on its following list of designated affected areas in the last 14 days – even if they do not have symptoms.

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes and chronic lung disease.

Anyone with the above symptoms is urged to use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next, but should not visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

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Members of the public are asked to call 111 if they need to speak to someone.

More on coronavirus in the North East: