• Coronavirus has spread rapidly across a host of countries
  • The three main symptoms are cough, fever and difficulty breathing
  • Should one self-isolate the moment these symptoms appear?

The chief medical officer of England has declared that those suffering from minor illnesses may be asked to go on self-isolation within the next fortnight. Common cold and flu symptoms include having a runny nose or tickly throat. This can become a cause for concern at some future point. At present, however, what should you do if you have these symptoms? What are the advice of the government for those experiencing cold and flu symptoms?

A Precautionary Measure

If you start experiencing symptoms of common cold and flu, there is no need to go on self-isolation. Within a fortnight, however, the tiniest cough or sneeze could mean the government will force you to go on self-isolation at home.

Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer of England, stated on Monday, March 9, that the government may have to ask some members of the general public to do things differently. According to England’s chief medical officer, the country is in a unique situation where the government can ask anyone who has even the mildest respiratory tract infection to self-isolate. The same goes for those having fevers. He said that self-isolation may run anywhere from seven days or until health officials give the all-clear signal.

Residents in Tokyo say they cannot buy toilet papers as panic-buying empty shelves in pharmacies during the coronavirus outbreak.
Residents in Tokyo say they cannot buy toilet papers as panic-buying empty shelves in pharmacies during the coronavirus outbreak. AFPTV / Harumi OZAWA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is calling for a national effort to deal with the virus. He also assured the nation that the country is now moving into the delay phase of dealing with the virus.

Knowing If Your Cold or Flu Is Coronavirus

The World Health Organization and the National Health Service have issued guidelines on the most common COVID-19 symptoms. These are coughing, having a high temperature, and experiencing shortness of breathing. In some instances, you may also feel subtle pains and aches, nasal congestion, sore throat, runny nose, or diarrhea. Some patients developed all of these symptoms, but then some manifested only a few.

The major difference between cold and flu symptoms and that of coronavirus symptoms is the latter may manifest at a much slower pace. With the common cold, you may feel yourself getting better within a couple of days, but with flu, you may be stuck to your bed for about a week or longer. Recovering from a coronavirus infection may take much longer.

Protecting Yourself

If you recently visited a considerably affected area within the last two weeks or have been in contact with someone who has and feels unwell, ask NHS 111 for advice. The virus spreads through droplets, so your first line of defense to protect against infection is hygiene-based. Washing your hands with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds is recommended. Avoiding places where throngs of people converge has also been advised.