symptoms of coronavirus

How to know if you or a family member have symptoms of coronavirus – and what to do next

Is it just the sniffles or could you or a family member have symptoms of Covid-19 - we discuss the latest guidance from the government.

The Coronavirus – or Covid-19 – pandemic is not going away anytime soon. And we are slowly learning to live with restrictions and adapting our lives to keep ourselves and others safe. But with government guidance changing all the time, how can you know if you or a family member are suffering with symptoms of coronavirus or just a common cold? Especially now we are moving into autumn and winter when general illness spikes across the country. And are the symptoms the same in children? 

Here’s what you need to know. 

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Check if you have symptoms of coronavirus?

Currently the main symptoms of coronavirus are: 

  • a high temperature – you can measure your temperature with a thermometer, but generally if you feel hot (not warm) to touch on your chest or back (or are experiencing episodes of chills) you can class this as having a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough – the NHS advises that this means you are coughing a lot for more than an hour. Or having 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – if you notice that you have can’t taste or smell things like usual or at all.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, then you should get tested for coronavirus. Most people with coronavirus display at least one of these symptoms. 

You should self isolate at home until you receive the test results back. Anyone you live with or who is in your support bubble should also remain at home.

If the results are positive then you should remain in self isolation for a total of 14 days. If the results are negative then you can continue with your usual routine. 

Rule of six
What is and isn't allowed under the new 'rule of six' restrictions

What should you do if your symptoms worsen?

If you start to feel much worse or begin to worry, you should remain at home but call the NHS 111 line immediately or use the online service. They will be able to advise you on what to do next. 

It’s important that you do not leave your home, do not visit your doctor or hospital or pharmacy, 

Are symptoms of coronavirus different for a child?

Children can get coronavirus too, but studies have shown that they are not as susceptible to the virus as adults – and it’s usually not as serious. 

There has been a lot of discussion over whether the symptoms differ in children. But currently, according to the NHS, the symptoms to watch out for are the same as an adult. Namely: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss of smell or taste. 

If your child has any of these symptoms, they should get tested and remain at home – along with anyone they live with and those in a support bubble – while waiting for the results. 

Again, if you have any concerns about your child, you should contact NHS 111 online or via phone. 

Read more about coronavirus in children at

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