What to do if you think you have coronavirus – top tips to hasten your recovery

Talk of coronavirus is inescapable. It is all over our media and because of this there are sometimes mixed messages. Government advice is constantly updating as the situation develops.

The Novel Coronavirus (covid-19) is a highly virulent virus, originally located in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China.  The virus has been swift to spread and has resulted in worldwide deaths from pneumonia. These deaths have mainly occurred in the elderly population and those with underlying health issues. Read more about the coronavirus in our article here.


If you think you have coronavirus, here’s a handy guide explaining what you should be doing and why:

Signs and symptoms of coronavirus:

If you have a new persistent cough or fever above 37.8, you should self-isolate for 7 days. During this time, you are particularly contagious.

You no longer need to be tested for the virus, only those requiring hospital treatment will be tested.

Only phone 111 if you become substantially worse, need medical help for another health condition or if you get further symptoms after 5 days.

Use the 111 online service for further guidance.


coronavirus advice



Rest at home

Your body will need plenty of sleep and rest to fight the infection. Go to bed, drink plenty of hydrating fluids and the majority of people will make a full recovery within 5 to 7 days.

Take painkillers, throat lozenges, cough medication and paracetamol if you need them. Just as you would if you had a regular cold or flu.




Stay hydrated


It is vitally important to drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty.

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than it takes in. This is very common when you are ill.

A fever makes you sweat.

The coronavirus also causes breathing difficulties. Breathing faster releases more moisture.

A small minority of people with the coronavirus note diarrhoea as a symptom. This can lead to a rapid loss of fluids and electrolytes as well.

Drink plenty of water, juice or soup. Avoid coffee and alcohol as these are diuretics and will further dehydrate you.




Stop spread


It is important to isolate yourself in a well-ventilated room, with the windows open. If you live with other people, sleep in a separate bed or room, and use a different bathroom if possible.

Avoid public areas and transportation. Stay away from anyone who is elderly or with underlying health conditions who could be easily and seriously infected.

If you have a mask, wear it when coughing and anyone caring for you should also wear a mask to protect themselves. Once wet, masks will no longer provide a protective barrier.

Protect yourself and others:

  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing and before eating or drinking.
  • Cough into tissues then flush them away and keep 2 metres apart from people where possible.
  • If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol.


wash hands


We strongly recommend that you attend a First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit firstaidforlife.org.uk , emma@firstaidforlife.org.uk or tel 0208 675 4036 for more information about our courses.


http://www.onlinefirstaid.com The easy way to learn vital skills straight from experts


First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

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