An Italian nurse has shared a photo showing the harsh reality of treating coronavirus patients.

Alessi Bonari posted a photo of her face covered bruises across her forehead, cheeks, and on the bridge of her nose.

They come from the protective mask she has to wear for hours at a time as she helps people suffering from the deadly disease.

She writes: "I am a nurse and right now I am facing this medical emergency. I'm afraid too, but not going to go shopping, I'm afraid to go to work.

"I am afraid because the mask may not adhere well to the face, or I may have accidentally touched myself with dirty gloves, or maybe the lenses do not completely cover my eyes and something may have passed.

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"I am physically tired because the protective devices are bad, the lab coat makes me sweat and once dressed I can no longer go to the bathroom or drink for six hours.

"I am psychologically tired, and as are all my colleagues who have been in the same condition for weeks, but this will not prevent us from doing our job as we have always done.

"I will continue to take care of and take care of my patients, because I am proud and in love with my job.

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"We young people are not immune to coronavirus, we too can get sick, or worse, we can get sick.

"I can't afford the luxury of going back to my quarantined house, I have to go to work and do my part. You do yours, I ask you please."

She also urges people to do everything they can the stop the spread of the virus, including staying at home.

"What I ask anyone who is reading this post is not to frustrate the effort we are making, to be selfless, to stay at home and thus protect those who are most fragile.

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Her post has recived over 500k likes and hundreds of comments of people thanking her for her hard work.

One said: "Friend, you are an example for the country and humanity!"

Another said: "Thanks Alessia. Great admiration for how you do your job. Thanks for all you do and the really important words you used. We are close to you".

And a third said: "You are part of the Italy we are all proud of. Hold on honey".

In the UK, the death toll has risen to eight, and the number of positive cases has increase to 382.

Those with mild symptoms of the virus are being told to stay home and self-isolate rather than admitting themselves to hospital to reduce strain on the NHS.

A survey conducted by the Doctors' Association saw that more than 99 per cent of the 1,618 doctors surveyed said the NHS is not prepared to cope if it is hit with an epidemic.

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