Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause a variety of diseases in humans and other animals. In 2019 the COVID-19 strain was discovered in Wuhan, Eastern China, and to date has caused 2,912 deaths within the mainland.
Further outbreaks in Iran, Italy and South Korea led the World Health Organisation to designate Covid-19 a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK from low to moderate.
Although symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are very similar, the two illnesses are caused by different viruses. Unlike the flu, doctors are still trying to understand the full picture of COVID-19, symptoms, and severity.
Should I be concerned about the Coronavirus?
Mild cases of COVID-19 may appear similar to the flu or a bad cold, however, symptoms in people with weakened immune systems can be more severe.
Older people and those who suffer long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and lung disease, are advised to take extra precautions, by avoiding built-up areas.
To put things into perspective – currently, there are 46,429 active infected patients worldwide. 18% of them are serious or critical, the remaining 82% are mild. 36,159 people have already had the virus, with only 8% of deaths. The remaining 92% have recovered/discharged.
Coronavirus has so far taken 3,058 people, which is very small compared to seasonal flu which has caused 81,755 deaths so far, this year.
How do I know if I have the Coronavirus?
COVID-19 presents flu-like symptoms which include a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Individuals should be tested and treated in isolation. Currently, many NHS services are requesting any suspected cases should be reported to 111 before attending a surgery.
You should also avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu, stay indoors, and get medical advice remotely.
We are currently taking video consultations for anyone who is concerned they have contracted the virus.
Can children get coronavirus?
So far only 100 cases in children have been reported worldwide which have shown mild symptoms such as a runny nose or sore throat. Currently, measles and seasonal flu pose a greater risk to children so ensure your child is fully vaccinated!
How is the coronavirus treated?
You should seek medical advice, especially if you are already in poor health. However, just like the flu, treatment would require bed rest and plenty of fluids.
Other self-care treatments include
- Avoiding smoking or smoky areas
- Use a dehumidifier within your home
- Take over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol
How long does coronavirus last?
It is suggested the coronavirus incubation period could be up to 24 days. The common flu symptoms can last up to 9 days. If your symptoms last beyond this time period, we strongly advise you to seek remote medical advice.
Still, very little is known about the virus, so check back for updates on any scientific breakthroughs.
How to avoid getting infected by the coronavirus?
- Wash your hands with hot soapy water, regularly
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid contact with sick people
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Please do not attend the surgery if you are showing any symptoms of the coronavirus or have been in direct contact with any confirmed cases.
We are currently offering phone and video consultations for further advice and symptom checks.
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