A simple cough is enough to give us a fright these days – so we thought it might be time for a quick refresher on COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if you think you fit the brief.
NHS has designated two major symptoms for COVID-19 –
- A high temperature – where your body (especially chest and back) feel hot to the touch.
- A new, continuous cough – the key phrase being ‘new and continuous’ – if you have been coughing continuously for an hour, or have 3 or more bad coughing fits in a span of 24 hours – if you tend to have allergies around this time, know that a COVID cough is much worse than the coughing fits you normally have.
If you think you have one or both of these symptoms – the recommendation is to use the 111 Online Coronavirus Service from NHS to figure out what to do next – whether it was a false alarm, or if a test needs to be taken, or if self-isolation is required. Whatever the conclusion, the advice is to ‘stay home’ and sort this out with the NHS online service so you don’t end up infecting anyone else. If the symptoms are unmanageable or if a baby or at-risk elder has these symptoms, the NHS recommends calling the helpline.
For someone that has COVID-19 symptoms, NHS recommends a 7-day self-isolation period with no contact with other humans for the fever to subside (longer if fever takes longer to subside) – this is so the risk of spreading of the virus is avoided. Note that a cough may last long after the infection period is complete. For someone who lives with, or has had contact with a COVID-19 positive person, the recommended self-isolation period is 14 days – since it can take 14 days for symptoms to show. If symptoms show, an additional 7-day self-isolation maybe required.
Regardless of work commitments or your general gauge of your own health, now is the time to be safe than sorry. So stay home, monitor your health and seek help if you think you have symptoms. If you are unsure and want to monitor your health without leaving home, schedule an online phone or video consultation with a General Practice doctor at Gogodoc – a doctor can call you within the hour!