There is lots of advice available from various sources on how to best manage and protect from symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Below are the key points on identifying symptoms, when to self-isolate, social distancing and other advice to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Coronavirus can affect the lungs and airways. Common symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Cough (a new, continuous cough).
Symptoms can range from mild to severe. In more serious cases, infection can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and – in some instances – death. There is no treatment, so symptoms should be managed by drinking plenty of fluids and taking paracetamol if needed. As it is a virus, antibiotics will be ineffective against COVID-19.
People with coronavirus symptoms should not go into a pharmacy (or GP surgery/hospital) and do not need to notify 111 that they are self-isolating. People with symptoms who live alone should stay at home for 7 days. If symptoms get worse or do not improve after 7 days, visit NHS 111 online. Calls to NHS 111 should only be made if there is no internet access.
If a person with coronavirus lives with others, all household members should stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. For more information on self-isolation see Covid-19 advice card: Self-isolation – a summary
Social distancing measures are steps that can be taken to help reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus. People who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus should be especially stringent in following these measures. Detailed information on high risk groups can be found here.
The current advice is that everyone should stay at home, with the government introducing three key measures:
The police and other relevant authorities have powers to enforce these measures if people do not comply.
If it is necessary to leave the house for any of the reasons listed above, time spent outside should still be minimised and ensure that you remain 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
The coronavirus spreads from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. To prevent the spread of the virus, the following general principles of good respiratory hygiene can be followed:
For more information see: