More about Coronavirus
Coronavirus symptoms: What are they and how do I protect myself?
What are the coronavirus symptoms?
Coronavirus infects the lungs. The symptoms start with a fever followed by a dry cough, which can lead to breathing problems.
This is a new, continuous cough and means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
It takes five days on average to start showing the symptoms, scientists have said, but some people will get symptoms much later than this. In fact the World Health Organization (WHO) says the incubation period lasts up to 14 days.
Ear, nose and throat specialists in the UK have also noticed rising reports of anosmia – the term for loss of smell.
And increasing numbers of people on social media have been reporting a lost sense of smell and taste. Some have tested positive for coronavirus.
However, the evidence so far is only anecdotal and viruses behind the common cold often lead to lost senses of smell and/or taste.
How do I protect myself?
The best thing is regular and thorough hand washing, preferably with soap and water.
Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets – packed with the virus – into the air. These can be breathed in, or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on, then your eyes, nose or mouth.
So, coughing and sneezing into tissues, not touching your face with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with infected people are important for limiting the spread.
Face masks do not provide effective protection, according to medical experts.
What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?
Patients with mild symptoms – such as a new continuous cough or a high temperature above 37.8C should self-isolate at home for at least seven days, according to the latest advice issued by Public Health England.
(Disclaimer: This article has appeared on ‘BBC NEWS ,’ it hasn’t been edited)