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Coronavirus symptoms: What are they and how do I protect myself? Coronavirus symptoms: What are they and how do I protect myself?
(10 days later)
Coronavirus has claimed more than 270,000 lives and infected nearly 3.8 million people around the world. Loss of smell or taste have been added to the UK's list of coronavirus symptoms that people should be aware of and ready to act upon.
What are the coronavirus symptoms?What are the coronavirus symptoms?
Coronavirus infects the lungs. The two main symptoms are a fever or a dry cough. These can lead to breathing problems and shortness of breathe Scientific advisers told the UK government to update its advice. It now says the symptoms to look out for are:
The cough to look out for is a new, continuous cough. This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual. If you, or someone you live with, has any of these symptoms the advice is stay at home to stop the risk of giving coronavirus to others.
You have a fever if your temperature is above 37.8C. This can make you feel warm, cold or shivery. The cough is a new, continuous one, where you cough a lot for more than an hour, or have three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. You have a fever if your temperature is above 37.8C.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published an expanded list of symptoms which some people may develop: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's list of symptoms also includes chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain and sore throat.
It takes five days on average to start showing the symptoms, but some people will get them much later. The World Health Organization says the incubation period lasts up to 14 days. It takes five days on average to start showing the symptoms, but some people will get them much later. The World Health Organization says incubation lasts up to 14 days.
When do people need to go to hospital?When do people need to go to hospital?
The majority of people with coronavirus will recover after rest and pain relief (such as paracetamol).The majority of people with coronavirus will recover after rest and pain relief (such as paracetamol).
The main reason people need hospital treatment is difficulty breathing.The main reason people need hospital treatment is difficulty breathing.
Doctors may scan the lungs to see how badly they are affected and give support, such as oxygen or ventilation, if needed.Doctors may scan the lungs to see how badly they are affected and give support, such as oxygen or ventilation, if needed.
However, people should not go to A&E if they are concerned. In the UK, the NHS 111 website will guide you through what to do.However, people should not go to A&E if they are concerned. In the UK, the NHS 111 website will guide you through what to do.
If you are so breathless that you are unable to speak more than a few words you will be told to call 999, as this is a medical emergency.If you are so breathless that you are unable to speak more than a few words you will be told to call 999, as this is a medical emergency.
If you become so ill that you've stopped doing all of your usual daily activities then it will advise speaking to a nurse by dialling NHS 111.If you become so ill that you've stopped doing all of your usual daily activities then it will advise speaking to a nurse by dialling NHS 111.
What happens in intensive care?What happens in intensive care?
Intensive care units are specialist wards for people who are very ill.Intensive care units are specialist wards for people who are very ill.
Coronavirus patients will get oxygen support, which can involve using a facemask or a tube in the nose.Coronavirus patients will get oxygen support, which can involve using a facemask or a tube in the nose.
The most invasive way - for the most seriously ill patients - is ventilation where air, with increased levels of oxygen, is pushed into the lungs via a tube in the mouth, nose or through a small cut in the throat.The most invasive way - for the most seriously ill patients - is ventilation where air, with increased levels of oxygen, is pushed into the lungs via a tube in the mouth, nose or through a small cut in the throat.
What should I do if I have mild symptoms?What should I do if I have mild symptoms?
Patients with mild symptoms should self-isolate at home for at least seven days.Patients with mild symptoms should self-isolate at home for at least seven days.
People are advised not to ring NHS 111 to report their symptoms unless they are worried. They should also not go to their GP, or A&E.People are advised not to ring NHS 111 to report their symptoms unless they are worried. They should also not go to their GP, or A&E.
Details for Scotland are to check NHS inform, then ring your GP in office hours, or 111 out-of-hours. In Wales call NHS 111, and in Northern Ireland, call your GP.Details for Scotland are to check NHS inform, then ring your GP in office hours, or 111 out-of-hours. In Wales call NHS 111, and in Northern Ireland, call your GP.
If you have come into contact with somebody who may be infected, you may be told to self-isolate.If you have come into contact with somebody who may be infected, you may be told to self-isolate.
The World Health Organization has also issued advice for the public.The World Health Organization has also issued advice for the public.
How deadly is coronavirus?
The proportion dying from the disease is likely below 1% - but there will still be uncertainty until better testing reveals how many people have been infected.
A World Health Organization (WHO) examination of data from 56,000 patients suggests:
Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure), are more likely to become severely ill. Men are at slightly higher risk of dying from the virus than women.Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure), are more likely to become severely ill. Men are at slightly higher risk of dying from the virus than women.
What do I need to know about the coronavirus?What do I need to know about the coronavirus?
How do I protect myself?How do I protect myself?
The best thing is regular and thorough hand washing, preferably with soap and water.The best thing is regular and thorough hand washing, preferably with soap and water.
Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes small droplets - packed with the virus - into the air. These can be breathed in, or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on, then your eyes, nose or mouth.Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes small droplets - packed with the virus - into the air. These can be breathed in, or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on, then your eyes, nose or mouth.
So, coughing and sneezing into tissues, not touching your face with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with infected people are important.So, coughing and sneezing into tissues, not touching your face with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with infected people are important.
People will be most infectious when they have symptoms, but some may spread the virus even before they are sick.People will be most infectious when they have symptoms, but some may spread the virus even before they are sick.
Face masks do not provide effective protection, according to medical experts. However, the WHO is re-examining whether the public might benefit from using them. In England and Scotland, people are being advised to wear face masks in shops and on public transport to help prevent the spread of the virus.
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This explainer will be regularly updated to reflect the audience's questions about coronavirus. Details of how to get in touch are below.This explainer will be regularly updated to reflect the audience's questions about coronavirus. Details of how to get in touch are below.
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