Coronavirus has spread across the globe, with second waves and lockdowns implemented to stem the spread of the virus. England is currently in its second lockdown – dubbed lockdown 2.0 – with cases continuing to spike in recent months.
COVID-19 is spread through droplets in the air which are exhaled when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
These droplets can then land on surfaces or directly on people, and if a person touches their face after picking up these droplets they can then enter the body through the mouth, nose and even eyes.
As coronavirus is a new virus, scientists have been urgently working to understand how it spreads, and how to vaccinate against it.
A breakthrough came on Monday when it was announced by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech early trials of a vaccine had cleared a “significant hurdle.”
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said initial results suggested the vaccine was 90 percent effective at protecting people from COVID-19 but warned these were “very, very early days”.
Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told a Downing Street press conference he was “hopeful” there would be “some vaccine by Christmas”.
With coronavirus continuing to spread while a vaccine is still being developed, mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing are the top ways the Government has advised Britons to avoid catching or spreading the disease.
Symptoms of COVID-19 have been described as flu-like, but what are the early symptoms?
The CDC explained any of the nine symptoms may manifest anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness.
WHO’s website states: “Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, sore throat or diarrhoea.
“These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms.”
How to treat coronavirus at home
If you are suffering from mild symptoms of coronavirus the NHS advises you stay home and do the following
- get lots of rest and sleep
- drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear
- take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature if you are uncomfortable
Only use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your symptoms get worse and you’re not sure what to do
Can you get coronavirus but have no symptoms?
One concern has been the fact some people can be carriers of the virus, without themselves experiencing symptoms.
This is known as being asymptomatic – when the virus does not cause symptoms but can still spread to others.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, said: “It looks quite likely that there is some degree of asymptomatic transmission.
“There’s definitely quite a lot of transmission very early in the disease when there are very mild symptoms.”