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Everything you need to know about the coronavirus

Covid symptoms: what are they and how to protect yourself?

By James Gallagher
Health and Science Correspondent

  • Posted
    October 6, 2021

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There are three main symptoms of the coronavirus.

If you have any, you should take a test.

What are the symptoms?

Public Health England says around 85% of people with Covid will have at least one of these symptoms.

People infected with new variants such as Delta may be more likely to have other symptoms, such as headaches, sore throats or a runny nose, according to research from the Zoe Covid study and a ONS survey.

Main symptoms of coronavirus: high temperature, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell
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If you have symptoms, you should get tested as soon as possible and not leave the house for any other reason.

It takes an average of five days from the time you are infected for symptoms to appear.

Chart showing how to take your temperature using different types of thermometers
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Is Covid the same for everyone?

No – it can affect multiple organs and have several less common symptoms.

Scientists using health data from four million people say Covid has six subtypes:

Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps could be a sign of coronavirus in children, researchers believe.

What about Covid toe?

Some people who catch Covid develop frostbite-like lesions on their toes or fingers.

Covid toesource of images, Chris Curry/Getty

It can happen to anyone, but is more common in children and teenagers.

For some it is painless, but the rash can be very painful and itchy.

This appears to be a side effect of the body going into attack mode to fight off the virus.

Writing in the British Journal of Dermatology, researchers claim to have identified the parts of the immune system responsible, which should lead to better treatments.

If I cough, is it Covid?

Many other viruses show symptoms similar to Covid, including the flu.

According to Public Health England, just under half of people who have one of the three main symptoms of Covid will not have it.

What should I do if I have Covid?

If you have a positive test result, you should self-isolate at home for at least 10 days from when symptoms started.

Most people will only have mild symptoms, which can be managed with pain relief (such as paracetamol), bed rest, and fluids.

You do not have to go to a doctor’s office, pharmacy or hospital.

Since August 16, people who are double-bitten (or under the age of 18) do not have to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive.

When should you go to the hospital?

Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization or death from Covid.

If you are seriously ill and have a medical emergency you should call 999 – this includes feeling so short of breath you cannot say more than a few words.

If you are concerned your symptoms are getting worse, use the NHS 111 England website, Notify the NHS in Scotland or the equivalents in Wales and Northern Ireland.

The main reason people need hospital care is for difficulty in breathing where they can get oxygen.

The most seriously ill patients may require ventilation – where patients are sedated and air is forced into their lungs.

Older people and those with pre-existing health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure) are more likely to become seriously ill. Men are at a slightly higher risk of dying from the virus than women.

Related Topics

  • Infection
  • James Gallagher
  • NHS
  • Self-isolation
  • Intensive care
  • coronavirus pandemic


The article Everything you need to know about coronavirus appeared first on zimo news.

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