Covid symptoms: What are they and how do I protect myself?
What are the symptoms?
- New and continuous cough - coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing
- episodes in 24 hours
- Fever - a temperature above 37.8C
- Change in smell or taste - either you cannot taste or smell anything, or these senses are different to normal.
- Public Health England says about 85% of people with Covid will have at least one.
When should people go to hospital?
If you are seriously unwell and you have a medical emergency you should call 999 - this includes feeling so breathless that you cannot speak more than a few words.
If you are concerned your symptoms are getting worse, use the NHS 111 website England, NHS Inform in Scotland or the equivalents in Wales and Northern Ireland.
The main reason people need hospital care is for difficulty breathing where they may be given oxygen.
The most seriously ill patients may require ventilation where the patient is sedated and air is pushed into their lungs.
How to get a covid test
How do ventilators work?
What is an intensive care unit?
Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure), are more likely to become severely ill. Men are at slightly higher risk of dying from the virus than women.
Coronavirus vaccine: When will we have one?
The best thing is regular and thorough hand washing, preferably with soap and water,mask up .
Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes small droplets - packed with the virus - into the air. These can be breathed in, or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on, then your eyes, nose or mouth.
So, coughing and sneezing into tissues, not touching your face with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with infected people are important.
People will be most infectious when they have symptoms, but some may spread the virus even before they are sick.
Face masking are also compulsory in many indoor settings across the UK.
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