Coronavirus: Expert warns of five week wait for death rate to fall
PM Boris Johnson called a press conference last night to update the public on the ongoing vaccination campaign, which will be supported by the army. While the news is welcomed, it will provide little comfort for frontline workers, who are currently over overwhelmed with a deluge of daily deaths and cases. Illustrating the all-consuming impact of the current wave, a Croydon GP said she “eats, sleeps, thinks Covid”.
Dr Lydia Osei-Boateng has told My London that the pandemic has been the hardest year she has faced in her 12 years of being in the role.
The spiralling situation has afforded her a unique insight into the effects of COVID-19.
The Croydon GP has drawn attention to milder symptoms that fall outside of the official criteria.
Dr Lydia Osei-Boateng is calling for headaches and sore throats to be added to government coronavirus guidance.
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She said: “It has been a huge rollercoaster. Just when we thought things were starting to get better and we were opening up our doors we’ve been hit again by a massive wave.
“I don’t think they’ve got the symptom criteria right, I think they should include headaches and sore throats – by the time they realise they have Covid, they’ve already come into contact with other people.
“This second wave I am seeing milder symptoms, people don’t think they have it.”
While surgeries across the country have had to shut up shop, Dr Osei-Boateng said they have been busier than ever, juggling telephone and face-to-face appointments.
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What are the main symptoms of coronavirus?
According to the NHS, the main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
“Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms,” says the health body.
Other health bodies have published a more extensive list of warning signs, such as the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to the CDC, you should look out for the following:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
How to respond
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus, get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from one other household.
Can I treat my symptoms?
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19), but you can often ease the symptoms at home until you recover.
According to the NHS, if you have a high temperature, it can help to:
- Get lots of rest
- Drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear
- Take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable.
There have been some news reports of anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, making coronavirus worse.
The Commission on Human Medicines has now confirmed there is no clear evidence that using ibuprofen to treat symptoms such as a high temperature makes coronavirus worse.
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