If you think you have coronavirus, here’s a guide explaining what you should be doing and why:
Recognising possible signs and symptoms of coronavirus:
If you have a new persistent cough or fever above 37.8, you should self-isolate for 7 days. During this time, you are particularly contagious.
You no longer need to be tested for the virus, only those requiring hospital treatment will be tested.
Only phone 111 if you become substantially worse, need medical help for another health condition or if you get further symptoms after 5 days.
Use the 111 online service for further guidance.
Rest at home
Your body will need plenty of sleep and rest to fight the infection. Go to bed, drink plenty of hydrating fluids and the majority of people will make a full recovery within 5 to 7 days.
Take painkillers, throat lozenges, cough medication and paracetamol if you need them. Just as you would if you had a regular cold or flu.
It is vitally important to drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty.
Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than it takes in. This is very common when you are ill.
A fever makes you sweat.
The coronavirus also causes breathing difficulties. Breathing faster releases more moisture.
A small minority of people with the coronavirus note diarrhoea as a symptom. This can lead to a rapid loss of fluids and electrolytes as well.
Drink plenty of water, juice or soup. Avoid coffee and alcohol as these are diuretics and will further dehydrate you.
It is important to isolate yourself in a well-ventilated room, with the windows open. If you live with other people, sleep in a separate bed or room, and use a different bathroom if possible.
Avoid public areas and transportation. Stay away from anyone who is elderly or with underlying health conditions who could be easily and seriously infected.
If you have a mask, wear it when coughing and anyone caring for you should also wear a mask to protect themselves. Once wet, masks will no longer provide a protective barrier.
Protect yourself and others:
Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing and before eating or drinking.
Cough into tissues then flush them away and keep 2 metres apart from people where possible.
If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.