ANYONE can be infected by the new strain of coronavirus spreading in the UK, experts have warned.
While older Brits and those with underlying health problems are at greatest risk, it is vital everyone knows the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
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The most common symptoms of the new strain – which causes the disease Covid-19 – are recent onset of:
- new continuous cough, and/or a high temperature
- high temperature
For most people, the virus will cause a mild infection.
Some patients may also experience shortness of breath.
How is it spread?
Covid-19 is a new disease and as a result scientists are still working to fully understand it.
Experts believe it is spread via droplets produced when you cough or sneeze, as well as via touching and shaking hands.
When those infected droplets land on surfaces or body parts, a healthy person can pick up the virus and become infected.
England's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty has warned those droplets can survive on bus or train handrails for up to three days.
How does Covid-19 differ from flu or a common cold?
The symptoms of the new strain of coronavirus are similar to other respiratory illnesses.
However, with flu, symptoms are likely to come on much quicker.
The NHS states the signs of flu include:
- a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- an aching body
- feeling tired or exhausted
- a dry cough
- a sore throat
- a headache
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- feeling sick or being sick
How quickly do Covid-19 symptoms show?
Symptoms of Covid-19 are thought to appear between two and 11 days after a person is infected.
New research, by scientists at Johns Hopkins University, found an average incubation period of 5.1 days.
The evidence showed that 97.5 per cent of people who develop symptoms did so within 11.5 days of infection.
Experts say there is little evidence to suggest that people can spread the virus without showing symptoms.
New advice for coronavirus
- If you have mild symptoms, stay at home for seven days
- Ask employers, friends and family to get you things you need to stay at home
- Stay at least two metres away from people in your home when possible
- Sleep alone if you can
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds
- Stay away from the elderly and others with health conditions
- Don't call NHS 111 if you have to go into self-isolation – just online services instead
Don't call NHS 111 with mild symptoms – go online
IF you are worried you might have coronavirus DON'T call NHS 111, the Prime Minister said today.
Boris Johnson urged all Brits to visit the NHS 111 website as their first port of call.
If you think your condition is getting worse, seek medical attention quickly and dial 999 in an emergency.
If it's not an emergency, contact NHS 111 online here.
If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
All routine medical and dental appointments should be cancelled while you are sick and staying at home.
Public Health England said it will no longer be testing everyone suspected of having coronavirus.
If you are self-isolating with mild symptoms you won't be tested.
Up to 10,000 Brits ‘already infected with coronavirus’ – and peak of crisis is still weeks away
UP TO 10,000 Brits could already be infected with undiagnosed coronavirus, experts have warned.
Speaking after a COBRA meeting, Boris Johnson said the number of cases in the UK is expected to rise sharply – warning the peak is still weeks away.
The Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance added the 590 reported cases in the UK could be the tip of the iceberg.
He said: “"If you calculate what that really means in terms of the total number, it is much more likely that we have between 5,000 and 10,000 people infected at the moment.”
Brits told to self-isolate for a week if they have a 'mild' cold or a cough
BRITS are being told to do their duty for the country's coronavirus effort and self-isolate for seven days if they have a mild cough or cold.
Anyone with even mild symptoms should not leave home for seven days from when their symptoms start to stop the virus spreading.
People staying at home for seven days should stay at least two metres away from people whenever possible, according to Public Health England's guidelines.
They should also sleep alone – as well as wash their hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water.
Whole families could have to self-isolate if ONE has symptoms in future
FAMILIES could soon be told to self-isolate if just ONE of them has coronavirus symptoms, it emerged today.
At the moment Brits who get ill are being told to stay away from the people in their home as best they can – and avoid contact with others.
But in future whole families could have to go into lockdown to stop the spread further, experts said earlier.
That could be for up to a fortnight to make sure that everyone in the family has time for the symptoms to show and to get over the most infectious part of the disease.
However, that is not advice the Government is recommending at the moment – as we are not yet at the peak of the illness.
Elderly people warned not to go on cruises
BORIS JOHNSON tonight warned people over 70 with serious medical conditions should avoid taking cruises to protect them from coronavirus.
The new advice is based on guidance from the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, and follows a number of cases around the world of cruise ships experiencing outbreaks on board.
Underlying conditions include diabetes, respiratory disease, asthma, chronic heart, liver or neurological disease, a weakened immune system or any recent or undergoing chemotherapy.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The nature and design of cruise ships – where passengers are contained and the virus can spread faster – makes them a particularly risky environment for vulnerable people.”
SCHOOLS won't be closed over coronavirus fears – but will be forced to ditch foreign trips
Boris Johnson today confirmed schools would stay open because closing them could actually make things worse.The Prime Minister vowed to keep them open for now but slapped a ban on school trips abroad.
Instead schools will be monitored and only forced to close on an individual basis.
Mr Johnson said: "We are not closing schools now, the scientific advice is that this could do more harm than good at this time.
"Schools should only close if they are specifically advised to do so."
Boris rules out cancelling public gatherings for now despite Scotland ban
Boris Johnson has ruled out cancelling public gatherings over the coronavirus despite Scotland issuing a ban.
The Prime Minister refused to cancel sporting events and concerts to combat the disease as it offered no real benefit.
His decision comes as Scotland banned gatherings of more than 500 people.
He said: "The scientific advice as we’ve said over the last couple of weeks is that banning such events will have little effect on the spread.
"So we’re discussing these issues with colleagues in all parts of the United Kingdom and will have more to say shortly about the timing of further action in that respect.”
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