What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with covid?

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Coronavirus cases gathered once more following some brief respite in the summer when the UK managed to navigate out of the first wave. At the time, people revelled in restored socialising and shopping, but this ultimately gave way to increased contact. Now Brits have to survive tens of thousands of daily cases amid strained contact tracing and dwindling supplies of coronavirus tests.

What do you do if exposed to someone with coronavirus?

COVID-19 has spread seemingly easily in the UK, which has one of the highest death rates per capita in the world.

Newly rising cases mean the chances of contracting the virus have risen, notably in a series of “hotspots” across the country.

Government restrictions in these areas hope to cut contact down, and they come with guidance on what to do in an encounter with COVID-19.

In this case, “contact” means spending time with someone who has the disease, or being in their near vicinity without social distancing.

People won’t know they’ve had a brush with COVID-19 unless a contact tracer alerts them or they develop symptoms.

Coronavirus symptoms include:

  • High temperature (38C+)
  • A new, continuous cough
  • Loss of or change to someone’s sense of smell or taste

The immediate response to a tracing alert or these symptoms is self-isolation.

Most people will have become familiar with the concept by now, which requires them to quarantine at home without outside contact.

Those with symptoms or a positive test will have to isolate for 10 days, while a COVID-positive person’s cohabitants and anyone in their support bubble should shelter for 14.

The enhanced self-isolation covers the time during which it is possible to develop symptoms.

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According to the NHS, people should also self-isolate immediately in the following situations:

  • NHS Test and Trace Personnel tell them to self-isolate
  • The NHS Test and Trace app tells them to self-isolate
  • They have returned from a country with a high COVID risk, not on the travel corridor list

Can you treat coronavirus symptoms at home?

While coronavirus can prove deadly for some populations, notably the elderly and chronically sick, it is possible to treat at home.

The NHS recommends drinking lots of fluids, resting and taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to cool a fever.

For a cough, people should lie on their side or sit upright, and try having a teaspoon of honey, although this is not suitable for very young children.

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