12 Coronavirus.. what are the signs and symptoms to know about?

The coronavirus pandemic has affected millions of people across the globe and the World Health Organisation has called it a pandemic. What is coronavirus? Coronavirus is the name for a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS. The new disease that emerged in China in December has never been seen before the current outbreak. What are the early warning signs? As Covid-19 is a new virus, experts are still working to understand it. Here are some things to keep in mind..

A dry cough

A high temperature

Shortness of breath

Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea – but these are usually mild.

Developing these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the illness and they are similar to other illnesses, such as the common cold or flu.

Around one out of every six who gets Covid-19 become seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are at most risk developing serious illness. The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to other respiratory illnesses such as the flu and the common cold.

According to the NHS, 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 and being sick

You can treat yourself for flu by getting rest and staying warm. Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen can lower your temperature and treat aches and pains. Drinking plenty of water will help avoid dehydration.

The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others.

When should I seek help? You should also call NHS 111 if you have travelled to any of the affected countries and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath. Or if you have been in close contact with an infected person.

Public Health England defines close contact as being within two metres of someone for 15 minutes or more or sharing a room for a prolonged period.

The NHS has urged people to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as, if you have the virus, you risk spreading it to others.