[Update] Coronavirus: Important information
March 23rd, 2020
Please find a link below to the latest Department of Health information regarding Coronavirus. This information is for people with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), including those with a diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, who must remain at home until they are well. The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature. For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a new illness that affect your lungs and airways.
[Update] What are the symptoms, and should I stay at home?
The symptoms are like other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. These include:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.
[Update] Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do (only call 111 if you can’t find help online).
How is Coronavirus spread?
Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.
[Update] How can I avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus?
There are a few things you can do to try and avoid catching Coronavirus. These are:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Work at home
- Avoid social contact if you are out and about (stand 2 metres away)
- If vulnerable or in isolation, order food online or ask someone to go on your behalf.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
[Update] How long should I stay at home?
- If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you’ll need to stay at home for 7 days
- If you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms
- If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
- If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
How do you treat coronavirus?
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus. Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
You’ll need to stay in isolation away from other people until you’ve recovered.
What do I do if I think I have got Coronavirus?
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
Use this service if:
- You think you might have coronavirus
- You’ve recently been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus
- You’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus
[Update] More information
- World Health Organisation – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- [Update] GOV.UK: coronavirus action plan – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan
- [Update] GOV.UK: information on coronavirus and the situation in the UK – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
- [Update] NHS England: coronavirus for health professionals – https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/eprr/coronavirus/
- Public Health England – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
- Centres for Disease Control and Prevention – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html