What is Covid 19 ?
What is the Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.
Signs and Symptoms
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection: cough, difficulty in breathing, fever
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
How Covid-19 is spread?
From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
Respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes containing the virus are most likely to be the main means of transmission.
There are 2 main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
- infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs.
- it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching door knob or shaking hands then touching own face)
There is currently little evidence that people who are without symptoms are infectious to others.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of COVID-19
An infected person may show some or none of these symptoms, but the main symptoms
Symptoms of COVID-19
An infected person may show some or none of these symptoms, but the main symptoms are:
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 three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
Anosmia – This means the loss of taste or smell.
Research suggests that you can be infectious up to a week before any symptoms show. Although showing these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have contracted the virus, you should follow the guidance and self-isolate as soon as you show symptoms. It is also a good idea to let others you may have been in contact with know, as they may also need to self-isolate.
If you have any of the above symptoms, you should stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
Ask for a test to check if you have COVID.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can ask for a test to check if you have the virus. This is called an antigen test.
Some important information to remember is shown below. Select each image to find out.
Do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you think you might have coronavirus. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online COVID-19 services if you have any of the symptoms. This allows you to check your symptoms and get further advice.
Further government guidance:
If you live alone and you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Stay at home for seven days from when your symptoms started.
After seven days, if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to continue to self-isolate. If you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal. You do not need to self-isolate if you still have a cough or a loss of taste/smell after seven days, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.
If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of COVID-19.
You must stay at home for seven days.
All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
If you are in a household with someone who has shown symptoms of COVID-19 and you start showing symptoms.
You all need to stay at home for seven days from when the most recent symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.
The other household within a support bubble will also need to isolate if one household becomes symptomatic. The below is an illustration of how to isolate within a support bubble.
Stay at Home guidance for households: – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or you need advice on your symptoms go to NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
What can you do to help yourself get better?
As with any illness, it is important to look after yourself to help get better, try to do the following:
- Keep hydrated (drink enough fluids).
- Eat well.
- Stay active, if you feel well enough.
- Look after your mental health.
- Take medicines safely and effectively, according to the instructions.
If you have these symptoms then it’s very important that you do not go into work. You must stay at home.
How to prevent COVID-19?
Reducing the spread of infection is important. To do this we need to maintain high levels of hygiene and socially distance.
Some guidelines are outlined below to help you maintain your own safety and the safety of others.
Washing hands thoroughly and often
Hand washing is a very important part of preventing the spread of infection.
Staying alert and safe
The most important thing we can continue to do is to stay alert, control the virus, and, in doing so, save lives.
One way the government has been, and is continuing to tackle, the spread of the virus is encouraging people to practice ‘social distancing’. This means limiting the amount of physical contact you have with others to reduce the chance of either contracting or passing on the infection.
What steps can you take to practice social distancing?
Use technology to socialise and work.
Maintain distance from other people if you do go out.
Choose the right time and locations for exercise.
Avoid gatherings of more than six people.
Maintain good personal hygiene.
Self-isolation or self-quarantine is a method used to keep yourself away from others if you suspect you may have symptoms of the virus.
Here are some self-isolating tips:
Stay at home
Meals and bathroom usage
Stay at home
It may seem obvious, but do not leave the house to reduce the risk of infecting others. Do not go to work, visit public areas, use public transport or taxis and, if possible, avoid leaving the house to buy food or essentials. Instead you can order online deliveries but leave a note for the delivery person to leave it outside your door, or ask for help from others for obtaining daily necessities. Which they can leave outside your door.
If you live with other people then isolate yourself from others in the house. Stay in an enclosed room with the door shut, ideally with an external window for good ventilation. Those with even mild symptoms of infection should stay at least two metres away from other people in their homes and should sleep alone. Don’t use the same cutlery, mugs, plates or glasses. Use separate laundry and make sure you wash at over 60 degrees.
Meals and bathroom usage
If you need to cook, do so when others are not around. Preferably use a separate bathroom from others; however, if you need to share a bathroom then make sure you clean it thoroughly after using it.
This is most important for those who are at the highest risk. If you are shielding you should:
Not leave your house.
Not attend any gatherings.
Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms.