Advice and information provided below is for guidance and self-help, however, if you are concerned about your symptoms please do not hesitate to contact 111 service online or by telephone.
Assessing your symptoms:
The majority of people affected by Coronavirus tell us they experience a combination of symptoms such as:
- Fever - (temperature above 37.8C in the mouth or 38C in the ear – if you have no thermometer you can often tell because your skin is hot to the touch, you feel ‘feverish’ and sweaty. If your temperature is very high, you may even be ‘hot and cold’ and shivery)
- Dry (non-productive) cough
- Loss of sense of smell/taste
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches and pains (back and lower limb pains – Myalgia)
- Tiredness / sleepiness / drowsiness, sometimes with confusion
- Chest pressure / heaviness (not related to exertion) – it is constant and can be worse on deep breathing
- Chest pain generally across the chest (bear in mind chest pain can indicate other more important problems such as heart)
- Reduced or loss of appetite
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Abdominal pain, usually all over abdomen, loose motions like diarrhoea
- Sore eyes
Apply for a coronavirus test
Who can apply for a test
You can apply for a test if you are:
- an essential worker with coronavirus symptoms (priority group)
- aged 65 or over with coronavirus symptoms
- someone who cannot work from home and has coronavirus symptoms (for example, construction workers or delivery drivers)
- Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can apply if they live with an essential worker, a person aged 65 or over, or someone who travels to work.
You can also apply for a test if you have a clinical referral from NHS 111 online.
When to apply for a test
You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. It’s best to apply for the test in the first 3 days as it may take 1 or 2 days to arrange. Around 98% of all Coronavirus test results are sent automatically to the individual within four days.
You might not get a test if you apply - it depends how many tests are available in the area.
Patients who do not have access to or cannot use the internet can call a dedicated phone line, which can be used to order a test if no other options are available.
Telephone Number: 0300 303 2713 between the hours of 07.00 and 23.00.
Assessing whether you feel your condition is worsening:
A clear understanding of worsening usual state is more important than whether you currently feel short of breath, tired, lethargic or unwell. Ask yourself:
- What could you do yesterday that you can’t do today?
- What makes you tired now that didn’t do so yesterday – is there increasing difficulty in doing jobs that you could previously do?
- Are there other symptoms in addition to tiredness, temperature or breathlessness – for example a new wheeze that you can hear, blueness of your lips, reduced passing of urine, confusion or disorientation, feeling light headed?
Pay particular attention to breathing:
- Is your breathing faster, slower, or the same as normal – and when you are doing nothing at all do you find yourself breathing harder or faster?
- Assess the ease and comfort of your own ability to speak: when speaking are you able to complete the sentences that you are usually able to do – or is your breathlessness such that you cannot speak more than a few words?
- Are you feeling so breathless that you have to stop doing all of your usual daily activities?
Based on your own observations above you can consider how severe your symptoms are and what you can do to address your concerns - help yourself or seek advice.
Generally, you will be able to undertake your normal daily activities for example get out of bed and look after your own needs without help.
Symptoms that might be worsening and may require attention (111 or GP)
- If your symptoms begin to affect your ability to undertake routine activities.
- If you feel tired or lethargic (having to push yourself to do your daily activities)
- If you feel breathless without chest pain/tightness
Symptoms that Require Immediate Advice from 111 or your GP
If you are experiencing worsening breathlessness particularly a new feeling of breathlessness with chest pain/tightness that is affecting your ability to manage to continue with even basic household activities then seek advice immediately by contacting 111 service in the first instance.