Getting informed about coronavirus is the first step to staying safe. Here’s some advice on how to avoid getting coronavirus and what to do if you think you have it.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that affect the respiratory system, including illnesses as mild as the common cold to more severe infections like SARS. The current coronavirus outbreak is a strain named COVID-19 which began in Wuhan, China in 2019 and hasn’t been identified in humans before.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
Coronavirus symptoms can vary in intensity. The most common COVID-19 symptoms are:
- A high temperature – usually a body temperature of 38°C of more, or your back and shoulders feel hot to the touch
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed things smell or taste different to normal, or you cannot smell or taste anything at all
If you or a person in your home have these symptoms, get a test as soon as possible.
*If you have no internet access, call 111 and follow their advice. For a medical emergency call 999*
How does COVID-19 spread?
Coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the mouth or nose which enter the atmosphere when an infected person exhales or coughs. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person, and if they sneeze into their hands – everything they touch.
When uninfected people come into contact with said person or objects, they can catch the virus if they then touch their face or mouth. This is why washing hands, not touching your face and the isolation of infected people is important.
What can I do to protect myself and others from coronavirus?
The procedures you should follow to minimise the spread of COVID-19 is similar to when you catch a cold or the flu:
- Stay at home
- Work from home if possible
- Wash your hands often - with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Maintain social distancing when leaving your home for essentail reasons
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin. See it, Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment
Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?
Yes. There are two vaccines currently being rolled out.
What should I do if I think I have caught coronavirus?
- Get a test. Book your test at gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
- Do not use taxis or public transport
- Try to avoid other people as much as possible
- Check the government website or contact NHS 111 online if you need additional advice.
- If your symptoms worsen and last longer than 7 days, please contact NHS 111 Online or call NHS 111 if you don’t have internet access. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare provider
Where can I get more information on coronavirus and COVID-19?
Check out the latest information on the Gov.uk website here.
Last updated: 05 January 2021