Information from Michele Assad, Assistant Professor in Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University, which is an excellent summary to avoid contagion:
  • The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat)
  • When absorbed by the cells of the eyes, nose or mouth, it changes their genetic code and converts them into aggressive and multiplier cells
  • Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays (breaks down) on its own
  • The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies
  • The virus is very fragile;  the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat
  • That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam)
  • By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own
  • HEAT melts fat;  this is why it is so good to use water above 25 degrees Celsius for washing hands, clothes and everything
  • In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful

The most recent social distancing rules issued by the Government mean leaving 2 metres space between you and the nearest person, roughly the length of two supermarket trolleys. But, we also know that it is possible to become infected by touching contaminated surfaces. Below is a helpful guide to how long Covid-19 lasts on different surfaces:

Coronavirus lasts on surfaces

There seems to be a lot of talk about #FlattentheCurve but what does this actually mean and what steps can you take to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Here is a useful infographic that gives you tips on what you can do when you return home to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

Social distancing? Self-isolation? What is this?

The BBC has a concise diagram:



Today, we are focusing on where to look for guidance on dealing with the unfolding situation. We have looked through many guidance documents and found this from the US President’s Office to be the most concise – click here to read.

In particular, it focuses on how you can do your part to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Here’s what to look out for:

Currently, people are presenting with the following Coronvirus symptoms:

  • cough
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • difficulty breathing
  • loss of smell
  • loss of taste

We will keep changing this as we learn more ourselves and from colleagues.

The number of UK cases of Covid-19 is increasing substantially and, in response, Boris Johnson has released the Government’s action plan, warning that a major outbreak here is ‘highly likely’. Here is our advice on the ‘new’ coronavirus that is sweeping the globe.

Covid-19 is a member of the coronavirus family of respiratory infections. First detected in Wuhan in China, it’s a new form that we’ve not yet encountered. Here’s what we do know at the moment:

Our Coronavirus Advice: can I avoid getting coronavirus?

Although it’s not known exactly how coronavirus spreads, other similar viruses spread via respiratory droplets. These are produced when you cough, sneeze or even speak and so you can minimise your risk of catching the virus by adopting the following steps:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with water and soap or use a hand sanitiser
  • Catch coughs or sneezes in a disposable tissue which you throw away (then wash your hands!)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with people who are showing symptoms

Our Coronavirus Advice: what are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The effects of this coronavirus can vary in individuals, but sufferers typically report a fever first, then a dry cough, followed by shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, and it can result in pneumonia. Most people are likely to only experience mild symptoms and recover and these symptoms can also be a sign of other viruses such as the common cold or flu.

Currently, scientists believe that the proportion of people dying is low (between 1% and 2%) and evidence indicates that most of those who have died are elderly or had pre-existing health conditions. Just to compare, in the last flu season, nearly 1,700 people in England died from the viral infection.

However, it is worth bearing in mind, that the virus is still in its early stages and the figures are still not exact.

Our Coronavirus Advice: what should I do if I think I have coronavirus?

If you are concerned that you may have contracted coronavirus, then do not go to your GP, local pharmacy or hospital. Instead, contact the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

You should also self-isolate and contact this service, even if you’re not showing symptoms, if you’ve been to a Category 1 country in the past 14 days – click here to see the list of Category 1 countries.

There is also a list of Category 2 countries – if you’ve visited these countries in the past two weeks and are not suffering symptoms then you do not need to take any special steps. However, if you do develop symptoms, then self-isolate and call NHS 111.

What treatments are available for coronavirus?

As it is a viral infection, antibiotics will not work and, unfortunately, the antiviral drugs we use to treat the flu currently will also not work. The virus is so new and different that it requires its own vaccine and researchers are rushing to develop an effective treatment.

At the moment, recovery depends on the strength of the person’s immune system, which is why it’s more dangerous for the elderly. You may receive treatment to help relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness and you will need to stay in isolation until you’ve finally recovered.

February is National Heart Awareness Month in the UK, putting a spotlight on different heart conditions. Referred to as cardiovascular disease, CVD is the UK’s number one killer, and covers a range of different diseases:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Angina
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary heart disease

However, while it may be a leading cause of death, it doesn’t have to be inevitable. There are some risk factors of CVD that you can’t eliminate, such as your family history or age, but there are also many that you can avoid or reduce by adopting certain lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle medicine is all about making changes to how we eat, exercise and live our lives, which can help prevent or limit certain health conditions such as cardiovascular disease. Here are our five steps to a heart-healthy life:

#1 Quit smoking

This is the best thing you can do to benefit your heart. According to the World Health Organisation, within one year your risk of CVD is about half of that of a smoker’s and after 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker.

#2 Exercise more

Aim for regular, daily exercise to lower the risk of heart disease, as well as experience many other health benefits.

#3 Eat a heart-healthy diet

A healthy diet can boost your heart health; incorporate lean meats and fish, low-fat dairy foods, whole grains and healthy fats. Limit your intake of alcohol, salt, sugar and saturated fats. This will also help you maintain a healthy weight as carrying excess pounds around your middle increases your risk of CVD.

#4 More sleep

Lack of good quality sleep has a profound impact on your health and has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and heart attack.

#5 Regular health screenings

Regular health screenings for high blood pressure or high cholesterol can tell you whether you need to take action to protect your heart.

For more advice on lifestyle medicine, call us on 07833 447 665.

One of the main advantages of deciding to go down the private healthcare route is choice. You have absolute freedom in choosing which specialist, consultant, surgeon or health professional to oversee your medical treatment.

But how do you choose the right private consultant?

Ask around

Talk to friends and family who may have had treatment. Ask for personal recommendations.

Research them online

You can Google a prospective consultant online – either their own website or second-party websites such as private hospital profiles or on associations related to their specific medical specialty.

Check them out

Check their experience, qualified and published success rates if possible.

Private GP referral

Within the NHS, you usually need a GP referral before you can see a consultant and although this is not usually necessary in the private healthcare sphere, a Private GP Referral can still be the best place to start.

Our GPs have worked with leading specialists across all medical specialties and can recommend the most appropriate consultant for your condition. We will find the best options available locally or nationally and we will help you navigate your healthcare journey.

With the recent news from the Government that ‘menopausal women are the fastest-growing workplace demographic‘, this is becoming a significant issue for both employers and employees.

Some women transition through the menopause with barely a hot flush, but three out of four women do experience symptoms and for one in four, they can be serious indeed. Symptoms can be physical, such as night sweats, headaches and poor sleep, or psychological, including anxiety, depression, lack of confidence and problems concentrating. All of which can make employment more challenging and menopause symptoms are often cited as a reason for women to leave the workforce.

Menopause advice for employers

In 2016, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine introduced practical guidelines, including how to adapt the workplace environment where possible, such as changing room temperatures, having fans available, introducing flexible working hours or encouraging discussion about how symptoms are impacting their ability to work.

Menopause advice for employees

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is very important when managing the menopause. It’s important to seek advice from your private doctor regarding hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which can dramatically improve symptoms, allowing you to function better at work.