In this update, we’ll look at some of the things we’ve learned about the coronavirus infection over recent weeks.
A fever or new, continuous cough (coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more coughing episodes per 24hrs) are still the main symptoms of suspected COVID-19 infection.
Anosmia (the loss of smell) also seems to be relatively common, as does fatigue/lethargy.
It should be remembered that most cases of COVID-19 are mild (though all require self-isolation nonetheless). UK guidelines suggest that isolation from the start of symptoms should be for seven days, whereas the WHO advocate fourteen days. We would err on the side of the latter. A reminder that all members of the household also need to isolate too.
It appears that the fever and cough wax and wane for around a week. Paracetamol, fluids and rest remain the mainstays of treatment. Several people, including our Prime Minister, have attempted to continue to work whilst unwell. We would strongly discourage this.
If shortness of breath is to develop it tends to do so around day eight of infection and the average time from onset of the illness to hospitalisation (in those needing it) is nine days (range five to 13 days).
We are seeing that the lethargy which forms part of this illness is profound and slow to resolve.
There is a low risk of contamination from items of food packaging. If you have concerns, it would not be unreasonable to use antiseptic wipes to clean any shopping deliveries before storage. The same reasoning applies to any items which are posted to you.
Updated information from the government can be found at GOV.UK.
Dr Simon Gillson – Medical Director
Dr Karl Braine – Medical Director