Coronavirus has now infected 205,840 people around the world as of Wednesday afternoon and has killed 8,275. In a bid to stop the spread across the UK, measures are in place calling for social distancing and self-isolation.
Self-isolation calls for those who feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms to remain at home until they feel better.
However, if you live with someone who feels unwell, the new government guidelines state you too must isolate yourself.
This means not attending work, not going into public places and where possible limiting contact with other people.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said self-isolation and social distancing were measures to protect those most vulnerable to the virus.
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How long should you self isolate for?
According to guidelines from the Government, here is how long you should isolate for.
If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for seven days from when your symptoms started.
If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.
The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
The reason for members of the same household having to isolate is that it is likely people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already.
Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for seven days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.
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The government also advises moving any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.
If this is not possible, try to stay away from them as much as you can.
As the virus is spread through droplets issued when a sufferer coughs or sneezes, if you feel you have COVID-19 advice is to stay away from public areas, including medical facilities.
The government advises if you have coronavirus symptoms:
- do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
- testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
Only contact NHS 111 if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition worsens.
You can also get in touch if your symptoms do not get better after 7 days.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111.
Symptoms of coronavirus include
- A dry cough
- Shortness of breath
Some people also experience diarrhoea, and extreme cases can develop pneumonia and organ failure.
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