Coronavirus – Frequently Asked Questions
Coronavirus news and headlines have likely saturated your feeds and flooded your social media with updates and stories and quite possibly some misinformation. So we have put together a short guide to help you stay safe and informed.
What is coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a common virus and is mostly not dangerous. It can cause infections in the upper respiratory system in the throat, nose and sinuses. However, some strains can be serious and this recent outbreak in China identified a new strain called 2019-nCoV or “2019 Novel Coronavirus”.
How is coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is spread through close contact with an infected person. If the individual sneezes or coughs onto a surface, and you touch it and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, or eat something with your hands, you become at risk of infection.
What are the symptoms?
Differentiating Coronavirus from symptoms of the common cold and ‘flu is difficult. It causes upper respiratory tract infection symptoms such as cough, bunged up nose, sore throat and sometimes in children, ear infections. More recently, an inability to smell or taste has also been reported by 70% of patients diagnosed with coronavirus. However, more research is needed to appropriately link the two.
What should I do if I have these symptoms?
If you are showing symptoms, stay indoors and call NHS 111. Self isolate in a different room from other members of your family.
How can I prevent infection?
Steps you can take to prevent infection include:
– Wash your hands regularly and certainly before eating or preparing food
– Using anti-viral hand sanitiser regularly through your day and avoiding touching your face without washing your hands and using sanitiser.
– Boost your immunity by taking daily probiotics, zinc and vitamin C, exercising, eating well and avoiding stress.
– If you are ill, please carry tissues with you and cough and sneeze into them. Remember the Public Health England campaign, catch it, bin it, kill it? Still applies!
– If you have flu or cold symptoms, call your HR team before coming into work as they may ask you to work from home.
-Practice social distancing and follow government guidelines to stay at home.
Can I get tested?
Yes, this is available at our clinic where we have launched a coronavirus testing and consultation package. It includes a consultation with one of our experienced doctors to discuss your symptoms, a test kit sent to your home address which consists of a throat and nose swab, and a follow up consultation to discuss results and advice.
From the end of April we will also provide antibodies testing. This is for asymptomatic patients and also for those who think they may have had coronavirus but are unsure. The test will be able to test us if you have already had Covid19 and will be essential before a vaccination campaign.
How dangerous is coronavirus?
This strain is serious, but it will seriously affect the same people the common ‘flu affects badly such as the elderly or those with low immunity.
Should I wear a face mask?
A face mask is usually worn if you are ill and want to help prevent the spread of disease. Coronavirus is spread by touch so it only helps you avoid infection by discouraging you from touching your face and mouth.