What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel coronavirus now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV), which was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. It was initially reported to the WHO on December 31, 2019. On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, its first such designation since declaring H1N1 influenza a pandemic in 2009. 

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

The main symptoms of coronavirus 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 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you have any of these symptoms. Stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test.

COVID-19 Prevention

To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), avoid close contact with anyone you do not live with and wash your hands regularly. To stop coronavirus spreading:
  • stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with when outside your home
  • 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
  • if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it’s hard to stay away from people, such as in shops or on public transport
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Follow the government’s social distancing guidance about what you can and cannot do outside your home.

COVID-19 Treatments

You can usually treat mild coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms at home. If your symptoms are severe, you may need medical care until you recover. nhs.uk Self-care
If you have mild symptoms of coronavirus, you must stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test.
To help yourself stay well:
  • drink plenty of water to stay hydrated – drink enough so your pee is pale and clear
  • take paracetamol to help ease your symptoms
  • stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media, to help you avoid feeling low or lonely
  • try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
  • do light exercise, if you feel well enough to
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you have any of these symptoms. Stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test.

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

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