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Coronavirus/COVID 19 Self Help Guide

COVID – 19 Self care:

Stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started

If there are other people in your household they should remain at home for 14 days, this takes into account the incubation period of the virus.

Should they go on to develop symptoms they should stay at home for an additional 7 days from when their symptoms started.

Fever:

Causes

Fever helps your body fight infections by stimulating the body’s natural defences. By increasing the body’s temperature, a fever makes it harder for the bacteria and viruses that cause infections to survive.

A fever is a natural response to many common illnesses. There are a number of things you can do to help the uncomfortable feelings associated with it.

What to do

  • Don't over dress. Wear loose comfortable clothing and make sure the room you are in isn't too warm. You shouldn't attempt to make yourself feel cold.
  • Drink more fluids, avoiding alcohol as this can make dehydration worse. You sweat more when you have a fever and drinking makes sure you won't get dehydrated. You should be passing urine approximately every 6 hours. A pale yellow urine means you're unlikely to be dehydrated. If you are passing urine that is darker than normal you need to drink more.
  • Take a medicine that reduces fever such as paracetamol (unless you're allergic or have been told by a healthcare professional that you can't take it).

When to get help

If the following happens or continues, call NHS 24 on 111:

  •  severe thirst or reduced urine output
  •  light-headedness or weakness
  •  new, severe muscle cramps
  •     symptoms worsen or you notice new symptoms .

Cough:

Causes

A cough is often just one symptom of a bacterial or viral infection, such as the common cold.

Sometimes your cough can be a sign of an underlying cause such as:

  •  allergies
  •  asthma
  •  acid reflux
  •  chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

What to do

Antibiotics do not work against infections, such as colds, caused by viruses. Viral infections are much more common than bacterial infections. It's likely that your cough will improve within a few weeks. In the meantime you should:

  • Drink more fluids, avoiding alcohol as this can make dehydration worse. You sweat more when you have a fever and drinking makes sure you won't get dehydrated. You should be passing urine approximately every 6 hours. A pale yellow urine means you're unlikely to be dehydrated. If you are passing urine that is darker than normal you need to drink more fluids.
  • Take a medicine that reduces fever such as paracetamol (unless you're allergic or have been told by a healthcare professional that you can't take it).

If you smoke, stopping will improve your cough.

When to get help

Call NHS24 on 111 if any of the following happens:

  • Your cough has lasted for more than 3 weeks
  • Your cough is getting worse
  • You have other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, swelling or lumps in your neck or a prolonged change in your voice
  • You cough up blood
  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath

If you have any further concerns, or you develop additional symptoms, please call NHS24 on 111

General Advice:

It is safe to manage this problem yourself at home.

The advice below may help:

Take simple painkillers such as paracetamol. If you have a temperature this will help to bring it down. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

If you are pregnant, you should take the usual daily adult dose of paracetamol. If you require further information please consult your local pharmacist.

Make sure you drink enough fluid to keep yourself hydrated – water is best. This is particularly important if you have a temperature or have just woken up after sleeping for a time. Warm drinks can also have a soothing effect.

Stay at home and rest.

Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, but make sure that fresh air is circulating.

Consider others - you can reduce the risk of spreading to other people by covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and making sure you wash your hands regularly. Dispose of used tissues appropriately. If you don't have a tissue use the crook of your elbow.

You will continue to be infectious for up to 7 days from the beginning of your illness.

Ask your local pharmacist for more advice, especially if you have a medical condition or you are taking prescription medicines.

Germs spread easily, always carry tissues and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Germs can live for several hours on tissues so dispose of your tissue as soon as possible.

Hands can transfer germs to every surface you touch. Clean your hands as soon as you can.

What to look out for:

You should improve within 5–7 days from the onset of your symptoms but if your symptoms worsen day by day or last for more than 7 days please call NHS 24 on 111.

If you have any further concerns, or you develop additional symptoms, please call NHS 24 on 111. For any non-COVID related concerns or queries , please phone your GP Practice as usual



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