Pirate FM News 4 minute read

What is coronavirus and what are the symptoms?

What is coronavirus and what are the symptoms?

Published by Emma Carton at 8:28am 26th February 2020. (Updated at 4:00pm 26th February 2020)

Above image: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Health advice is being issued over coronavirus as two Cornish schools send pupils home as a precaution.

Pirate FM told you how Penair in Truro asked students returning from a recent ski tip to self-isolate.

They have since been allowed to return to school.

However Newquay Tretherras has also advised sixth-formers returning from skiiing in northern Italy to stay indoors.

NHS Kernow has tweeted a warning after a GP surgery was temporarily closed and deep-cleaned, also as a precaution.

Scroll down to read all the public health advice on coronavirus, including the symptoms and when to 'self-isolate'.

What is coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

What are the symptoms and what should I do?

If you experience a cough, a fever, or breathing difficulties, call NHS111 and tell them you are being asked to self-isolate because of coronavirus. 

If you have been given a designated medical contact point you can also contact them for advice. They will talk you through the next steps.

Even if the symptoms seem like mild respiratory symptoms, it is better to call for advice.

What does 'self-isolate' mean?

If you have been told to self-isolate, you will need to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. This will prevent you from spreading the disease to your family, friends and the wider community.

In practical terms, this means that you must:

  • Stay at home
  • Not go to work, school or public areas
  • Not use public transport like buses, trains, tubes or taxis unless you have been told it is safe to do so by a member of the port or public health team
  • Avoid visitors to your home
  • Ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you – such as getting groceries, medications or other shopping

Who should 'self-isolate'?

If you have returned from these specific areas since February 19th, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy
  • Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
  • Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)

Advice: If you have returned from these areas since February 19th and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111:

  • Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini),
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

Advice: If you have a cough, or fever or shortness of breath and have visited any of the following areas in the last 14 days

  • China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

Advice: Stay indoors and call NHS 111 informing them of your recent travel to the city.

All information has been taken from the Public Health Matters blog on the government website and you can read more advice here.

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