Wigan Infirmary "coronavirus case" is untrue, say hospital bosses
Readers contacted Wigan Today and others took to social media to say there were unconfirmed reports that the bug which has claimed hundreds of lives, mainly in China, had been detected at the town's hospital.
But a spokeswoman for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), which runs the facility, said there was absolutely no truth in the matter and that there were no coronavirus cases even suspected in any of the borough's hospitals.
However precautions are being taken in the unfortunate event of the illness's spreading to the area.
Staff have been seen being trained in how to spot the condition and what to do if it is detected.
WWL says it has been following Public Health England guidance which has included:
Setting up a dedicated room to manage possible cases in A&E;
Having sufficient stocks of personal protective equipment;
Issuing guidance on patient identification, infection control precautions and testing have been produced; and
Educating staff on how to identify and appropriately manage possible cases of coronavirus should they present.
Coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) is a new strain first identified in Wuhan.
A PHE spokesman said: “The new strain presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing.
"The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Those who have died in Wuhan appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.
"The UK is now one of the first countries outside China to have a prototype lab test for this new disease.”