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Friday 3rd April 2020

How to treat coronavirus at home - latest news and advice

What to do if you get ill

There is currently no specific medical treatment for coronavirus at home but anyone that does fall ill with symptoms will need to stay in isolation from others until they've recovered.

Earlier this week the Prime Minister locked down households as he instructed the UK: "You must stay at home."

Doing so will hopefully help control the spread of the deadly virus and help relieve pressure on the NHS. That means no visitors at all, beyond any essential care workers.

But here is what you need to do if someone in your household contracts coronavirus.

Consult the guidance at www.nhs.uk (Credit: unsplash.com)

Read more: Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus

Stay home for 14 days

Do not leave your home if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.

Government and NHS guidance makes it clear the first person in a household with symptoms must remain at home for seven days.

And all other household members who remain unaffected must not leave the house for 14 days, which begins on the day the first person became ill.

However, anyone that displays symptoms needs to stay home for a week from when the symptoms appeared. In this instance it doesn’t matter what stage they are in during the 14 day period.

So just stay at home. Find out more about self-isolation here.

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Protect the vulnerable

If possible, move any vulnerable people - for example, anyone that is elderly or with an underlying health condition - out of your home during the isolation period at home.

If it is not possible for them to stay elsewhere, it is vital they are kept well away from anyone suffering with symptoms.

Keep those unwell separate from the rest of the household

Household members who think they may have coronavirus should isolate themselves even further in a 'sick room' to protect others.

The room should be well-ventilated with a window to the outside that can be opened.

If possible, they should also make use of a separate bathroom to other residents and also avoid making use of the kitchen while others are around.

They should also not share any household items such as cups, plates, cutlery, towels or bedding.

Keep laundry, bedding and towels separate in a plastic bag for cleaning once everyone is clear of coronavirus and ensure all items such as plates and crockery are cleaned thoroughly.

Clean surfaces frequently

Remember to keep surfaces that are touched on a regular basis - for example light switches, door and cupboard handles, banister and handrails, mobile and landline phones, remote controls - clean.

Maintain vigilance over hygiene

Keep washing your hands, as instructed throughout this crisis - thoroughly and with soap/hand sanitiser and hot water.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

And ensure that your mouth and nose are covered with tissues or the crook of your elbow - not your hand - when coughing or sneezing.

Dispose of any tissues immediately and also wash your hands.

All waste that has been in contact with the sufferer should be disposed of into a plastic rubbish bag, tied, double-bagged, tied again but not put out for the bins until it has been confirmed the unwell person does NOT have coronavirus.

Keep away from pets

If this is not possible, clean your hands thoroughly after contact.

Accept help

Sufferers should call on friends or relatives for assistance with buying food or picking up medication.

Shopping and medications can also be ordered online.

Should anyone suffering call for a takeaway or other delivery, inform the delivery person to leave the goods outside or in the porch, as appropriate.

Treatment for symptoms

As noted, there are no specific medical treatments for coronavirus.

However, pain and fever can be tackled with paracetamol and anyone who is ill should drink a lot of fluids to stay hydrated.

If symptoms get worse - particularly if a person has trouble breathing, persistent chest pain, blue-is lips or face - and you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

In an emergency where you believe an ambulance may be necessary, explain to operators exactly what the symptoms are.

Under no circumstances should you walk or travel by public transport or taxi, according to Public Health England.

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