As you may know, COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your breathing via your lungs and airways. COVID-19 is the name of the illness and it’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. People tend to use these two terms interchangeably in when talking about it.
If you think you may have coronavirus, you can check your symptoms against the list below and use the online NHS 111 coronavirus system to tell you what to do next.
Coronavirus and Mental Health
We know that the thought of the coronavirus can cause greater anxiety and worry for people with existing mental health problems. If you have any worries then you can speak to Mind or Mental Health Matters on the helplines below:
If you have to self-isolate, then you may be concerned about loneliness and depression. Mind have some more information which may help you, including information on mindfulness and how it could help:
Symptoms of coronavirus
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.
The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- 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 straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
What to do if you think you might have coronavirus
If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it:
- stay at home and avoid close contact with other people
- do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next
The 111 coronavirus service will tell you if you need to continue to stay at home (self-isolate) or if you need medical help.
If you have any other questions about the virus or illness then have a look through the NHS Common Questions about Coronavirus webpage.