What is Covid-19 and what are the symptoms?
Covid-19 is the illness caused by a novel member of the coronavirus family that has transferred from animals to humans. The most common symptoms are fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Some patients may also have a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion and aches and pains or diarrhoea. Some people report losing their sense of taste and/or smell.
About 80% of people experience a mild case and recover without needing any special treatment. About one in six people become seriously ill.
How do I know if I have coronavirus and what happens next?
How do I protect myself and others from the coronavirus?
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds each time, and use hand sanitiser gel. Catch coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue and bin the tissue. If you don???t have a tissue available, cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
How should I self-isolate if I am showing symptoms?
Different countries have set different rules, but broadly speaking, if you live alone and develop a new continuous cough or a high temperature it is recommended to stay at home for seven days after symptoms began. If you live with others, everyone in the house must stay at home and not leave for 14 days. Studies show that people have the coronavirus without symptoms for five days on average.
The infection may spread from person to person in shared houses. If anyone else starts to show symptoms while already in isolation, they must stay at home for seven days from the moment their own symptoms start, regardless of where they are in the 14-day isolation period. Check with your local medical authorities for specific advice that may be applied in your area.
What is social and physical distancing?
Many authorities are asking people to practise social and physical distancing. To reduce the spread of the virus, you should avoid meeting up with friends and family who don???t live with you. If you need to see the doctor or other essential services, use the phone, internet or social media if possible. In some places, you can go out for a walk for exercise and to buy essentials, but stay two metres apart from others. Check with local authorities for specific rules that may be applied in your area.
How do I care for someone suffering from Covid-19?
Keep the patient rested and comfortable in loose-fitting clothing, keep the room where they are well ventilated, and ensure they drink plenty of water. Over-the counter pain relief may be helpful ??? but paracetamol (Tylenol) is recommended rather than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil).
To prevent the coronavirus spreading within the household, if possible keep the patient in their own separate room and using a separate bathroom. They should have separate cutlery, crockery, bedding and towels, and preferably wear a mask. Regularly clean and disinfect high-frequency touch surfaces in the home such as door handles, toilets, kitchen counters and tabletops. Everybody in the house should be washing their hands frequently.
Why are some people at greater risk from coronavirus?
People with diabetes or heart disease are known to be at greater risk from coronavirus. The over-70s and pregnant women are also considered to be at higher risk. Men also seem more likely to die than women.
Where has the coronavirus spread?
The coronavirus has spread to more than 150 countries. See the global map of confirmed cases or how many confirmed cases there are in your area in the UK or a map of the latest cases state by state in the US.
How many people have been affected globally?