Coronavirus is still running rampage in the UK and other parts of the globe, with the death toll in the UK now exceeding 17,000. Many people will be unsure whether their symptoms are mild or severe but health bodies have provided a rough guide to help determine the severity of symptoms.
Coronavirus death toll in the UK has shot up over the last 24 hours, with a further 873 patients confirmed to have died. Why COVID-19 spreads more rapidly and viciously through certain regions is the subject of ongoing investigations but gaps in knowledge is bound to be a contributing factor. No one was prepared for COVID-19 so fully educating the public on the virus was always going to be a big ask considering scientists hadn’t even anticipated it.
Uncertainties surrounding when to self-isolate and when to seek help may partly account for the surging death toll.
People that should have acted on the warning signs may have brushed off their symptoms and passed their infection on to more vulnerable groups, for example.
If you are unsure as to the severity of your symptoms, health bodies have provided a rough guide that may provide some clarity.
From the information that is currently available, the symptoms can be roughly sorted into three categories: mild, severe and those that require urgent medical attention.
According to the NHS, in its mild form, the virus produces flu-like symptoms.
The health body classes mild symptoms as a new, continuous cough and a high temperature.
The health site says to self-isolate for seven days if you spot mild symptoms.
Severe symptoms can be classed as more intense versions of the mild symptoms.
Harvard Health describes severe symptoms of COVID-19 as high fever, severe cough, and shortness of breath.
According to the health body, these symptoms often indicate pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a complication of viral infections that has been prevalent in hospitalised cases of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has highlighted six emergency symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
What should I be doing if I do not recognise symptoms?
The UK government is urging everyone to stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should only leave your home for very limited purposes:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- Travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
As the NHS points out, these reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
Can I reduce my risk of catching and spreading COVID-19?
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.
The NHS says to wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
Other hygiene tips include:
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
“Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean,” adds the health body.
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