It is a disease caused by a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has transferred to humans from animals. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it a pandemic.
According to the WHO, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Some patients may also have a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion and aches, and pains or diarrhea. About 80% of people who get Covid-19 experience a mild case – about as serious as a regular cold – and recover without needing any special treatment.
About one in six people, the WHO says, become seriously ill. The elderly and people with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, or chronic respiratory conditions, are at a greater risk of serious illness from Covid-19.
In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) has identified the specific symptoms to look for as experiencing either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs we have against the flu will not work, and there is currently no vaccine. Recovery depends on the strength of the immune system.
Should I go to the doctor if I have a temperature or a cough?
No. NHS advises now that anyone with symptoms should stay at home for at least 7 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. This applies to everyone, regardless of whether they have traveled abroad.
If you get worse or your symptoms last longer than seven days, you should call emergency Central Helpline Number for corona-virus: – +91-11-23978046. You can check your state numbers here.
Many countries have imposed travel bans and lockdown conditions in order to try and halt the spread of the virus. You should check with your local authorities for the latest advice on seeking medical assistance.