Coronavirus cases in Birmingham and the Midlands, mapped

Dominic Gilbert
Coronavirus cases in Birmingham and the Midlands, mapped - JON SUPER
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The Covid-19 pandemic reached the Midlands in early March and hundreds of cases have now been confirmed there.

Search the map below to see how many cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in local authorities around Birmingham and the Midlands.

Coronavirus UK Local Authority Map - Live Data

Situation in the Midlands

While London has continually topped lists of coronavirus cases in the UK, Birmingham has the highest number outside of the Capital, with the West Midlands emerging as a hotspot for transmissions earlier this week.

The government has said it is investigating reasons why that might be the case, amid suggestions that people's religious convictions are contributing to the spread.

Khalid Mahmood, Birmingham Perry Barr MP, has said older Muslim and Sikh people in the area may be struggling to adhere to government guidelines about physical distancing because of their desire to continue with their religious practices.

Despite most religious services being cancelled, some older people have allegedly attempted to attend mosques and gurdwaras to pray, said Mahmood.

In a bid to free up resources, the Accident and Emergency department at Coventry's University Hospital is no longer treating minor injuries or illness for adults, while Birmingham's NEC is preparing in case it is required to double as a field hospital.

Elsewhere, Birmingham Airport could serve as a mortuary if the need for the facility arose. Sandwell Council said it was working "with and on behalf of" local authorities in the West Midlands and Warwickshire "on mortuary provision across the region". It confirmed Birmingham Airport as one of the agencies it had approached.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Seven, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans, but most just cause cold-like symptoms.

Two other coronaviruses – Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) – have killed more than 1,500 people between them since 2002.

The new virus, officially called Covid-19, is also dangerous - so far, around 20 per cent of confirmed cases have been classed as severe or critical. Around 15 to 20 per cent of hospital cases have been classed as "severe", and the current death rate varies between 0.7 per cent and 3.4 per cent depending on the location and, crucially, access to good hospital care.

This is much lower than fatality rates for Mers (30 per cent) and Sars (10 per cent), but still a significant threat.

Scientists in China believe that Covid-19 has mutated into two strains, one more aggressive than the other, which could make developing a vaccine more complicated.

Coronavirus live spread map - animated

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the main symptoms of the coronavirus usually include:

  • A dry cough 
  • A temperature
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath (in more severe cases)

Some patients may have "aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea", the WHO adds. "These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don't develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell".

These symptoms are similar to other respiratory diseases including flu and the common cold. So if you have symptoms, consider the following:

  • Have you travelled to a high-risk area such as China, South Korea or Northern Italy in the last two weeks?
  • Have you been in close contact with someone with coronavirus?
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When should I seek medical help?

People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention quickly.

But you should not go out. Instead, you should call NHS 111. Also call NHS 111 if:

  • You think you might have coronavirus
  • In the last 14 days you've been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus 
  • You've been in close contact with someone with coronavirus

Use this NHS advice tool to find out how to protect yourself and others.