Coronavirus has now claimed the lives of 335 people in the UK, a figure that is bound to raise pulses as across Britain. News of the rapid rise comes as the Prime Minister chairs an emergency COBRA meeting to decide how best to tackle the snowballing crisis. While senior government officials thrash out a plan, the general public should not regard themselves as passive observers to the unfolding pandemic.
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The government and public health bodies are urging anyone who recognises the warning signs associated with the virus to self-isolate for seven days from the moment they spot them.
According to the NHS, a high fever and a new, continuous cough are the main symptoms to look out for.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a number of emergency warning signs to watch out for.
The CDC regards these symptoms as more serious and anyone that experiences should seek medical attention immediately.
According to the health body, an inability to arouse falls under this emergency category.
Other emergency signs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Inability to arouse
If you recognise the more serious warning signs, the NHS is recommending that you contact its emergency helpline NHS 111.
It is urging people to avoid visiting the GP, pharmacies or hospitals to protect others.
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How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus
Maintaining good hygiene practices plays a critical role stemming the spread of the virus.
The most important tip is to wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
As the NHS points out, you must repeat this practice when you get home or into work.
Other key hygiene tips include:
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean, warns the NHS.
What to do if you fall into a high-risk category
If you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.
According to the NHS, these include:
- Not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings
- Avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible
Am I at risk?
You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:
- Have had an organ transplant
- Are having certain types of cancer treatment
- Have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
- Have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
- Have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
- Are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
- Are pregnant and have a serious heart condition
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