The most common symptoms are fever, tiredness, and a dry persistent cough. In some cases, infected people will experience aches and pains, blocked or runny noses, sore throats and diarrhoea.
Although in a small number of cases, people with COVID-19 suffer from diarrhoea, it is relatively uncommon. Stockpiling items such as toilet roll is – in most cases – not necessary.
Fevers are part of the body’s natural response to fight infection and most people will have experienced a fever at some point in their lives. By increasing your body’s temperature, a fever makes it harder for viruses to survive and helps your immune system tackle the virus. People with a fever are normally hot to the touch. If you don’t have access to a thermometer, then placing your hand on their forehead or on their back will help you to identify if they have a fever.
If you have access to a thermometer, you can obtain accurate temperature readings from the mouth. Place the thermometer under your tongue, and keep your mouth closed while you take your temperature reading. Ensure that you clean any thermometer you use thoroughly after use.
If you feel unwell, you can visit NHS 111 Online at 111.nhs.uk/covid-19. The site has a symptom checker which can help you identify if you potentially have COVID-19. Although there are limited circumstances in which you are currently allowed to leave your home, you should not leave your home at all if you suspect you have COVID-19. In order to alleviate some of the pressure on the NHS, you shouldn’t call 111 unless you are unable to access the NHS 111 website.
You can manage your symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, such as painkillers. There is no official advice on the use of ibuprofen, but some scientists and clinicians are advising against the use of ibuprofen if you suspect you have COVID-19. The evidence remains unclear. You may wish to use Paracetamol instead. If you are under medical instructions to take ibuprofen, you should not stop taking it without speaking to your doctor first.