What is Corona virus ?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow)

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments

We constantly monitor both UK and WHO advice on the pandemic and update daily

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice - UK Patients

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Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus

You should only leave your home for very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home

Important

These reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

How to stop infection spreading ?

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • 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 and wash your hands afterwards

Don't

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

What to do if you need medical help

If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

Read more advice about getting medical help at home.

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill. But some people are at a higher risk and need to take extra steps to avoid becoming unwell.

People at increased risk

You may be at increased risk from coronavirus if you:

  • are 70 or older
  • are pregnant
  • have a condition that may increase your risk from coronavirus

Conditions that may increase your risk

How to protect yourself from coronavirus ?

The advice for people who may be at increased risk from coronavirus is the same as for most other people.

You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home

People most at risk

People most at risk from coronavirus are sometimes called "shielded" or "extremely vulnerable" people.

This includes people who:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition or are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

How to protect yourself from coronavirus ?

People most at risk from coronavirus need to take extra steps to avoid getting it. This is known as "shielding".

It's recommended you follow this advice for at least 12 weeks.

Do

  • stay at home at all times – do not leave your home to buy food, collect medicine or exercise
  • stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people in your home as much as possible
  • get food and medicine delivered and left outside your door – ask friends and family to help or register at GOV.UK to get coronavirus support if you need it
  • prepare a hospital bag, including a list of the medicines you're taking, in case you need to go into hospital
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • make sure anyone who comes into your home washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • clean objects and surfaces you touch often (like door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
  • clean a shared bathroom each time you use it, for example by wiping the surfaces you have touched

Don't

  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family, unless they're providing essential care
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family, unless they're providing essential care

Coronavirus in children

Children can get coronavirus (COVID-19), but they seem to get it less often than adults and it's usually less serious.

What to do if your child has symptoms of coronavirus ?

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours

Call 111 If your child has these symptoms

What to do if your child seems very unwell ?

Children and babies will still get illnesses that can make them very unwell quickly. It's important to get medical help if you need it.

Urgent advice: Call 111 or your GP surgery if your child:

  • is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a fever
  • is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a fever
  • has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature (fever)
  • has a high temperature that's lasted for 5 days or more
  • does not want to eat, or is not their usual self and you're worried
  • has a high temperature that does not come down with paracetamol
  • is dehydrated – for example, nappies are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they're crying

Call 999 if your child:

  • has a stiff neck
  • has a rash that does not fade when you press a glass against it (use the "glass test" from Meningitis Now)
  • is bothered by light
  • has a seizure or fit for the first time (they cannot stop shaking)
  • has unusually cold hands and feet
  • has pale, blotchy, blue or grey skin
  • has a weak, high-pitched cry that's not like their usual cry
  • is drowsy and hard to wake
  • is extremely agitated (does not stop crying) or is confused
  • finds it hard to breathe and sucks their stomach in under their ribs
  • has a soft spot on their head that curves outwards
  • is not responding like they usually do, or not interested in feeding or usual activities

Pregnancy advice

If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Contact your Doctor and local professional organisations advice

World Health Organisation advice on Corona Virus ( Covid -19)

Prevention

To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

Symptoms

The COVID-19 virus affects different people in different ways. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment. People who have underlying medical conditions and those over 60 years old have a higher risk of developing severe disease and death.

Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • dry cough.

Other symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • and very few people will report diarrhoea, nausea or a runny nose.

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should self-isolate and contact their medical provider or a COVID-19 information line for advice on testing and referral.

People with fever, cough or difficulty breathing should call their doctor and seek medical attention.

Questions & Answers

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