What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, is a new illness, a virus, that can affect your lungs and airways.
Anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work. Those people should self-isolate, as should those in their households. 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 three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this mean's you've noticed you cannot taste or smell anything, or things taste or smell different to normal.
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home. You may be asked to speak with your GP via video call. Download a patient guide to video consultations.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service. The 111 online coronavirus service will ask about your symptoms and tell you what to do.
Other things you can do to stop the infection spreading:
- 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
- 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
- stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside
- You can also download the Easy Read guidance explaining what coronavirus is and advice on what you should do.
For more information visit the Coronavirus page on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
The government has updated their Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do.
The government has updated their getting tested guidance on Coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.
Coronavirus fact sheet for children: Information for children to help them understand what Coronavirus is, the importance of hand washing and how to help stop the virus spreading is available on the Campaign Resource Centre. This was developed by the Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust. They have also made an animation to go with it.
Download the latest guidance published by the government for Staying alert and safe (social distancing) and Staying safe outside your home. Latest PHE advice can be found here.
Your Covid Recovery – new website to support people with ongoing symptoms on their road to recovery
Evidence shows that a significant proportion of post COVID-19 patients are likely to have significant ongoing health problems, notably breathing difficulties, tiredness and cough, reduced muscle function, reduced ability to undertake physical activity and psychological symptoms such as PTSD and reduced mood status.
Your Covid Recovery is a new NHS website designed to help people recover from the long-term effects of COVID-19 and support them to manage their recovery. It includes information from rehabilitation experts about how to manage ongoing symptoms and health needs at home, and signposts to sources of support.
Please include the site in your conversations with post-covid patients and their families/carers.