The COVID-19 coronavirus is a newly discovered disease. It comes from the Coronavirus family and it mainly affects the lungs and airways. Like other coronaviruses, it has transferred to humans from animals.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a global pandemic.
View Worldwide cases 1
View UK cases 2
COVID-19 is mainly spread via infected droplets though the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is very important to ensure measures are taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (see below) as it is highly infectious. It can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces.3
Common symptoms include:
Other symptoms may include:
Patients experiencing fever, cough or breathing difficulty should use the ‘111 online’ Coronavirus service for further advice. To protect others do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital.4
Most people who are infected with COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate symptoms and likely to recover without specialised treatment. Certain groups of people are considered to be at a higher risk and therefore more likely to develop serious illness often leading to hospitalisation. These groups include:
To minimise the risk of spread:
Further advice is for everyone to stay at home to stop COVID-19 from spreading. This means only leaving the home for limited purposes:
DO NOT VISIT THE GP, PHARMACIST OR HOSPITAL IF COVID-19 INFECTION IS SUSPECTED.
In the UK, contact ‘111 Online’ for information. If symptoms last longer than 7 days or worsen, call NHS 111. People will no longer be tested for the virus unless they are in hospital.
The NHS has advised that those who show symptoms should stay at home for at least 7 days. If fever continues after 7 days then to keep self-isolating until temperature returns to normal. If just a cough persists after 7 days, self-isolation is not necessary.
If living with someone suspected of being infected, it is advised to self-isolate for 14 days to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. This applies to everyone, regardless of whether they have travelled abroad.8
A range of people are now eligible to be tested in the community. These include
The test needs to be done within the first 5 days of experiencing symptoms. Frontline essential works will be given priority.
The test involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat using a long cotton bud. This is an antigen test and tests whether someone currently has coronavirus. This can be done either:
Apply for a coronavirus test here.10
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 but treatment can help to ease the symptoms.
If experiencing dry cough:
If feeling breathless:
Contact pharmacist (via phone or online) for further advice. Do not go to a pharmacy in person.11
Antibiotics do not work to treat the COVID-19 coronavirus. They only work against bacterial infections and not against viral infections.
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Pharmaceutical companies are working on a vaccine, however no timelines have been given.
It should be noted that as this is a viral disease antibiotics are not effective. The antiviral drugs we have against flu will not work. Recovery depends on the strength of the immune system.
If you would like to be informed of when a vaccine becomes available then please register for the newsletter on this page.
British authorities have advised against all non-essential travel worldwide. This applies for an indefinite period due unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. Further information can be found here.12
Checklist before travelling (if unavoidable):
Many countries have introduced screening measures (temperature checks, health/travel questions, quarantine) and entry restrictions at border crossings and transport hubs.
Contact local immigration authorities or specific embassy, high commission or consulate for further information.14
This information is taken from trusted third party websites, NHS, WHO, Sky News and WorldoMeters and all use of information has been licenced under the Open Government Licence http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/.
Although the materials are being used/replicated under the provisions of the Open Government Licence this in no way represents endorsement of Traveljab.co.uk by NHS, WHO, Sky News and WorldoMeters.