CORONAVIRUS has killed over 20,000 people in the UK to date and infected more than 150,000 Brits.
But how can you check if you have it?
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).
The virus attacks the respiratory system, causing pneumonia-like lung lesions.
In 2003 an outbreak of a similar virus, Sars, killed more than 900 around the world within weeks.
What are the symptoms?
The official symptoms are:
- Dry, persistent new cough
- Shortness of breath
Other symptoms include:
- Loss of taste and smell
- Diarrhoea and stomach ache
- Headache and brain fog
Reported but unconfirmed symptoms can include:
- Fizzing – patients have described a bizarre new symptom – a ‘fizzing’ sensation under the skin.
- Chest pains
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
- Nose bleed
- Joint aches
In most cases, you won’t know whether you have coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.
But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia, especially in the elderly, people with heart disease or those with weakened immune systems.
There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus.
However there a range of options and resources to determine if you may have been infected with Covid-19.
Visit NHS 111 coronavirus service
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Avoid phoning NHS 111 as the service is experiencing a high volume of calls and you will be placed on a list.
Instead, use the NHS’ 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.
It will tell how likely it is that you have coronavirus, and then advise you on your next steps.
Visit Patient Access
Some GP surgeries have switched off online appointments or are turning to telephone or video appointments to minimise the risk of people coming in with Covid-19 symptoms.
But some remain open and are conducting telephone consultations with GPs from home.
Patient Access, an online appointment system, connects you to your local GP service. It will list all available appointments, from which you can book.
The website also has a symptom checker which you can use without signing in.
There’s a range of ways to check if you have coronavirus without leaving your home[/caption]
Visit the Babylon symptom checker
Babylon Health provides remote consultations with doctors and health care professionals via text and video messaging that you can use through their specially designed mobile app.
Babylon are also regular updating a Covid-19 guide to give more information about symptoms and the latest medical developments.
It also outlines the risks, how to prevent infection and what to do if you’re feeling unwell with coronavirus.
Use Your.MD’s Covid-19 symptom checker
The newt tool is unique as it helps people compare their symptoms against global norms and others in the same age group and understand how the illness is affecting them.
It also works by gathering valuable data to be shared with governments to help map the outbreak.
Your.MD has also created a Coronavirus Hub, where trusted and medically validated sources can be found in one place, as well as a risk assessment tool – meaning you can sidestep dangerous rumours and misinformation around the deadly bug and its effects.
Check your temperature at home
You can check your temperature at home using an oral thermometer or a digital thermometer.
It is also possible to measure someone else’s temperature without a thermometer.
Touch your own skin first, and then touch their skin and compare the two temperatures. If the other person is significantly hotter than you, they may have a fever.
What coronavirus tests are available?
A limited number of swab tests are being made available on a daily basis through the government website.
These are on top of the drive through centres dotted around the country.
But only certain people are able to sign up for these tests, including key workers and their families.
Swab tests will see if you currently have coronavirus.
The goal is to create antibody tests, but none have been approved by MHRA so far.
These would test to see if you have previously had the virus, while also seeing if you are immune.
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