As the Coronavirus pandemic continues across the globe, we speak to Medical Director Dr Grant Charlesworth-Jones about the impact of the virus and the best course of action to take…..
Protecting yourself and those around you
The virus is now rapidly spreading across the UK, and though for most people the risk of serious illness is low there are things you can do to protect yourself and those close to you.
Firstly, do not panic!
Sensible preparations include having a supply of paracetamol and a thermometer at home. Identify anyone in your family who may be at higher risk, those aged over 70 or pregnant, diabetic or suffering with other chronic illnesses, as these people may need to follow specific advice.
If you have been exposed to the virus or have symptoms (high temperature or cough) then you should already be self-isolating.
Treat your symptoms as you would for any ‘flu-like’ illness – rest, drink plenty of fluids, take paracetamol, monitor your temperature, seek medical advice from 111 if you are worried – do not go to your GP.
Continue taking any usual medication, try to isolate yourself from everyone around you and do not go out until your symptoms have resolved and the recommended isolation period has passed.
You may hear about conflicting advice about taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or a class of prescription drugs called ACE inhibitors (such as ramipril).
The current official advice in the UK is that there is no need to stop these drugs, and this certainly applies to ACE-inhibitors as stopping without good reason could lead to serious consequences.
There is rarely any specific need to take ibuprofen and so it would be reasonable to avoid this drug, and take paracetamol as a safer effective alternative.
There is a lot of uncertainty and official advice being given is changing almost day to day. Beware reading essential information on social media: stick to mainstream sources such as the BBC and official health advice from www.nhs.uk, and if you have any concerns phone 111.
You, or your employer, may wish to consider testing for Covid-19. The current advice on self-isolating for up to 14 days is quite restrictive and could cause a lot of anxiety and disruption for you, your family, business and employment, and would not be necessary if you could be shown to be clear of the virus.
Testing is quick and easy (it involves a simple mouth or nose swab) and results are usually available within two days. Please click here to go to our testing page.