COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. COVID-19 is still affecting mostly people in China with some outbreaks in other countries. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home for 7- 14 days if you have either:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
you feel you cannot cope with your Symptoms at home
Your condition gets worse
Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it's a new illness, it is not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
- Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Treatment for coronavirus
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.