Coronavirus is losing its grip on the UK, a retreat that has been accelerated with the arrival of the common steroid drug Dexamethasone. Clinical trials of the drug have delivered world-beating results – the scientists who lead the trials claim one in three deaths could be prevented among patients on ventilators. While the progress is heartening, there are still concerns in some quarters that the UK is claiming victory too soon.
A new survey of family doctors, conducted by the GP magazine Pulse, found that 71 percent believe the Government has eased measures too quickly, including 25 percent far too quickly.
With no vaccine available, such prudence makes for sensible policymaking.
It is also important that the general public continue to do their bit and look out for the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
Spotting the early warning signs is critical to preventing a second spike.
Coronavirus symptoms: Small, itchy blisters may appear before other symptoms
What are the early warning signs?
According to Mayo Clinic, the earliest warning sign may appear on your skin.
COVID-19 has been reported to cause small, itchy blisters, more commonly appearing before other symptoms and lasting about 10 days.
Others might develop hives or a rash with flat and raised lesions, explains Mayo Clinic.
“These skin changes might last a week, appear at the same time as other symptoms and are associated with more severe infections,” explains the health body.
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According to the NHS, the main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms, notes the health body.
What should I do if I spot these symptoms?
UK health advice says to self-isolate – do not leave your home or have visitors.
Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also self-isolate.
COVID-19 general symptoms: A new, continuous cough is one of the main warning signs
You must self-isolate for at least seven days from when your symptoms started.
Public health policy dictates that you can stop self-isolating after seven days if either:
- Your symptoms have gone
- You just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these symptoms can last for weeks after the infection has gone
Keep self-isolating if you still have any of these symptoms after seven days:
- A high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
- A runny nose or sneezing
- Feeling or being sick
- Loss of appetite
Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone.
Higher risk advice: Only leave your home to spend time outdoors
“If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they’ve stopped,” notes the NHS.
The health site says to follow the general advice about social distancing, such as staying at least two metres (three steps) away from other people.
If you’re at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) from coronavirus (COVID-19), there are extra steps you’re advised to take to protect yourself.
UK health advice currently recommends you follow this advice until at least the end of June 2020:
- Only leave your home to spend time outdoors, for example to go for a walk
- Stay at least two metres (three steps) away from other people in your home as much as possible
- Get food and medicine delivered and left outside your door
- Prepare a hospital bag, including a list of the medicines you’re taking, in case you need to go into hospital
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Make sure anyone who comes into your home washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Clean objects and surfaces you touch often (such as door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
- Clean a shared bathroom each time you use it, for example by wiping the surfaces you have touched