What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. The risk to individuals in the UK is currently high, so it’s important to know what to do to help stop the spread of infection.
How is it spread?
As it’s a new illness, it’s not known exactly how this coronavirus is spread from person to person, but similar coronaviruses are spread through cough droplets.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The virus can vary in seriousness. Some infected people can experience cold-like symptoms and others can experience symptoms of pneumonia. It can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long-term conditions (like diabetes or asthma). Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
The main symptoms to look out for are:
• A new continuous cough
• Α high temperature
• Shortness of breath
What should I do if I have coronavirus symptoms?
Stay at home if you have either:
• A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
• A new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
Don’t go to your GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital and you don’t need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
• You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
• Your condition gets worse
• Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call NHS 111 if you can’t get help online. You may need to wait a little while before speaking to someone on the phone.
How can I help to avoid catching or spreading germs?
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading. You can help prevent the spread of infection and avoid being exposed to coronavirus by taking the following measure:
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t clean
• Put used tissues in the bin straightaway
• Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds or use sanitiser gel when you’re out and about
• Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
• Clean high-touch surfaces, like door handles, light switches and countertops with a disinfectant
• Avoid social activities and events with large groups of people. This includes pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas and only travel on public transport if you need to
• Work from home, if you can
What are the treatment options?
There is currently no vaccine or medicine available for coronavirus. Medical professionals can only treat symptoms (like a high temperature) of the infection. There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse. But until there is more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol isn’t suitable for you. If you’re already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, don’t stop taking it without checking first.
Is there a vaccination to protect against coronavirus?
No, the virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against coronavirus. Currently, the best way to protect against coronavirus is to follow good hand washing and respiratory hygiene, as well as maintain social distancing. It’s important to remember that most people will only get mild to moderate symptoms and will fully recover from the infection.
Vaccinations against flu and pneumonia do not provide effective protection against coronavirus, however, for certain population groups, the World Health Organisation highly recommends vaccinations against respiratory illnesses to protect health.
Where can I get more information on coronavirus?
Click here for the latest government information on coronavirus.
If you’re thinking about travelling abroad soon and are worried about coronavirus, check out the latest government foreign travel advice.
How will the Corona Virus affect those living with Fibromyalgia?
We have had a few enquiries about the affect of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) on those living with Fibromyalgia.
First of all we are a small organisation so providing individual help is not practical on such a fast moving and changing topic about how those living with fibromyalgia will be affected by the virus or whether they are more at risk than people who hasn't got fibromyalgia.
The diversity within our community in terms of additional conditions, age, and other factors is great. There is no one size fits all advice. Generally speaking a diagnosis of fibromyalgia will not make you a vulnerable person to this virus. If your social interactions are curtailed due to fibromyalgia, you may be at less risk than the majority of people.
However, there are many in our community that are older, or have other co-morbid conditions including those that do compromise the immune system so these people will need to judge their individual risk.
The overriding advice at present is to take sensible steps to avoid becoming infected in the first place. Increased hand washing and being aware of the current guidance from the NHS Wales, Public Health Wales, Local Health Board and the official Gov.uk website.
Public Health Wales: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/
Again, we do not believe there are any special requirements for someone with fibromyalgia and a common-sense approach is required.