Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are the recent onset of:
The antigen swab test gives you a very reliable indicator of whether you have or have not currently got the virus. A positive result has a very high chance of confirming if you are carrying the covid-19 virus in sufficient quantities (viral load) to make you infectious. There is, of course, a margin for error in any test, but the margin is small.
The antibody blood test gives you a very reliable indicator of whether you have been exposed to the virus by detecting certain antibodies in your blood. Please note; it is not yet fully known if an individual with a positive result showing the presence of IgG levels following being infected with COVID-19 will be protected, either fully or partially from future infection, or for how long the protective immunity may last.
There is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19. Antibiotics do not help as they do not work against viruses. You can ease the symptoms at home until you recover by:
You can help stop the spread by:
You should use face coverings in particular circumstances - short periods in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible.
The most important thing to know about coronavirus on surfaces is that they can easily be cleaned with common household disinfectants that will kill the virus. Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.
As always clean your hands by washing with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub and avoid touching your face.
Always have these tests done by a trained person. Especially the rapid antigen swab test as it would be difficult to perform then necessary action on yourself leading to potentially unsafe results. All of our tests are performed by a trained person to ensure the accuracy of results.
There is an issue around the capacity for pets to carry the virus on their fur or skin, as with any other surface. The World Health Organization (WHO) states you should wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. Therefore to keep you and your pet safe minimise potential exposure to the virus by washing your hands after handling pets and isolating pets if someone in your household shows symptoms of COVID-19.
Before you go shopping wash your hands for 20 seconds and if sanitiser is available wipe handles on the trolley or basket before and after use. Try to avoid touching your face and remember to stay 6 feet (2m) apart from the next person. If possible use a contactless method of payment.
Once home, wash your hands well and after handling and storing your purchased goods. You should also wash fruit and vegetables before eating as usual but there is no evidence to suggest you need to do this with the rest of your groceries.