Coronavirus has already killed one British man who was on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship. And more and more UK cases are being confirmed as the day goes on. How do you get tested for coronavirus?
The first way to identify if you may have been infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) is to be aware of the symptoms.
The NHS state symptoms of coronavirus include a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath.
Fairly similar to the common cold, the World Health Organisation (WHO) add symptoms of the contagious virus may include tiredness.
Other symptoms, pointed out by the WHO, may also include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea.
The organisation adds “symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually”.
The WHO reassures us that 80 percent recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
But, one in every six people infected may become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing.
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Coronavirus: How to get tested
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service now in operation across England, Scotland and parts of Wales.
Do use this service if you suspect you may be suffering from coronavirus, and you’ve been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus in the past 14 days.
High risk areas include: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, northern Italy, Iran, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand or Vietnam.
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Also use the NHS 111 coronavirus service if you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.
Should coronavirus be suspected, you’ll be put in touch with your local health protection team and directed to a testing location.
There, a swab will be taken from your nose and mouth. The results will take 72 hours to come back to you.
During that time, you will be asked to self isolate.
Coronavirus: Steps to take if you think you’ve caught the infection
Coronavirus testing sites are being rolled out, with a new service now available in west London, offering “drive-through” coronavirus testing.
This new service is provided by Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust in Parsons Green.
Do note, the “drive-through” service is only accessible through a referral from NHS 111.
At present, the NHS has started pilots of home testing for coronavirus.
This means healthcare professionals, including nurses and paramedics, will visit people in their own homes to test for coronavirus.
Professor Keith Willett, NHS strategic incident director for coronavirus said: “Anyone who is concerned they have signs and symptoms, should continue to use NHS 111 as their first point of contact – they will tell you what you exactly what you need to do and where necessary, the right place to be tested.”
Professor Willett recommends people to follow the public health advice to help stop the spread of the infection.
“Wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, and put used tissues in the bin immediately,” he explained.