Coronavirus cases are growing daily, and in the UK now unprecedented measures are in place to prevent further spread of the virus. Britons are being advised to undertake social distancing, avoiding social situations, large gatherings and unnecessary travel.
Across the UK, there are 1,543 cases of coronavirus – official name COVID-19 – and 55 people have died from the virus.
To safeguard vulnerable groups, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on the UK to work from home where possible, practice social distancing and self-isolate if any member of the household displays symptoms.
Coronavirus causes a dry cough, shortness of breath and fever – however, some people can have worse symptoms than others.
In extreme cases, COVID-19 can cause pneumonia and even organ failure.
For the lesser symptoms – coughing and fever – the Government ask sufferers to remain at home, and not seek advice unless your condition worsens. However, if you feel yourself getting worse, then contact NHS 111.
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Can you take paracetamol for coronavirus?
For those managing their symptoms at home, the NHS advises to “drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol to help with your symptoms.”
Paracetamol is used to relieve pain and reduce fever, so can help alleviate some symptoms.
As yet there is no cure for coronavirus, only managing the symptoms which arise.
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If you are staying at home as you are feeling unwell, the NHS advises
- try to keep at least 2 metres (3 steps) from other people in your home, particularly people over 70, or those with long-term health conditions
- ask friends, family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines but leave them outside
- sleep alone, if possible
- regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol to help with your symptoms
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If you cannot cope with your systems and you feel worse, the NHS then advises using their 111 online services.
Due to increased demand, the NHS advises only calling 111 if you cannot receive help online.
Do not attend a hospital, GP surgery or walk-in-centre as this may spread the virus further.
If you want further advice on managing symptoms check the NHS website here.
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Is there a coronavirus vaccine?
As yet there is no vaccine for coronavirus, however, UK scientists are working on a coronavirus vaccine aimed at preventing outbreaks similar to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researchers from the University of Plymouth have made progress in developing vaccines designed to prevent infections from jumping from animals to humans.
Researchers at The Vaccine Group (TVG), a university spinout company, are now looking to create a vaccine to prevent future human coronaviruses which have spread from animals.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, which means they are carried in animals and can transfer across to humans.
Dr Michael Jarvis, TVG’s chief scientific officer, said: “As COVID-19 has shown, the spillover of disease from animals to humans can have a very high social, economic and commercial cost globally.
“Naturally, there has been a swift move into funding the development of human vaccines and therapeutics, but to date, we are not aware of any approaches to eliminate COVID-19 in the animal population to prevent future outbreaks or re-emergence of the disease.”
He added the animal species involved in the recent emergence remains unclear, and a vaccine like this may be vital for control of COVID-19 as well as other emerging coronaviruses.