Coronavirus: The simple advice for dealing with COVID-19 from an infectious diseases professor

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Professor Graham Medley told Newsnight that the viral bug will be with us “for a long time”.(BBC)

An expert in infectious diseases has suggested that people should act like they already have coronavirus to help stop it from spreading.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight on Thursday, Professor Graham Medley from the London School of Hygiene, said the UK public needed to approach COVID-19 in a more serious way - as the viral bug will be with us “for a long time”.

It comes as the UK confirmed a jump of 208 cases in 24 hours on Friday - bringing the total number in the UK to 798 - the biggest daily increase since the outbreak began.

Dr Medley said: “Most people have a fear of acquiring the virus. I think that a good way of doing it is to imagine that you do have the virus and change your behaviour so that you're not transmitting it.  

Boris Johnson holds a news conference to give the government's response to the new COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. (PA)

“Don't think about changing your behaviour so you won't get it.

“Think about changing your behaviour so you don't give it to somebody else.” 

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Boris Johnson’s government moved into the "delay" phase of the fight against the virus on Thursday.

Professor Medley said the way to combat the virus was through “herd immunity” - meaning humans become immune to virus through infection.(BBC)

It said between 5,000 and 10,000 people in the UK could be infected with Covid-19 already.

But Professor Medley said the way to combat the virus was through “herd immunity” - meaning humans become immune to virus through infection.

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"This virus is going to be with us for a long time, we're going to have an epidemic and then it will become endemic and join in with all the other coronaviruses that we all have all the time, but don't notice,” he continued.

General view of people in Leicester Square, London, as the Government's top scientist warned that up to 10,000 people in the UK are already infected with Covid-19. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)

"We're going to have to generate what we call herd immunity. So that's a situation where the majority of the population are immune to the infection.

"And the only way of developing that in the absence of a vaccine is for the majority of the population to become infected.

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"Ideally, if I could, what I would like to do is to put all the all the more vulnerable people into the north of Scotland and keep them there, everybody else into Kent and have a nice, big epidemic in Kent, so that everyone becomes immune, and then we can put people back together again.

"But we can't do that. So what we're going to have to try and do ideally is some kind of manage this acquisition of herd immunity and minimise the exposure of people who are vulnerable."

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