New advice from the government is warning members of the public that a continuous cough and a high temperature are key symptoms of novel strain of coronavirus Covid-19.

The UK government released guidance on Thursday advising that the two most common symptoms of coronavirus were a continuous cough and a high temperature.

Symptoms to watch

According to Public Health, members of the public should self-isolate for seven days if they have a new and continuous cough.

A high temperature is also a red flag for sufferers of Covid-19.

Public Health note that any temperature of 37.8C (100F) or more can be defined as a high temperature.

What should I do if I suffer from these symptoms?

Public Health England have recommended that anyone suffering with either symptoms take the following steps:

- do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)

this action will help protect others in your community while you are infectious

- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home

- ask your employer, friends and family to help you get the things you need to stay at home

- stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home if possible

- sleep alone, if possible

- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water

- stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible

- you do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999


Public Health England said that if you feel better after seven days of self-isolating "you can return to your normal routine".

If, on the other hand, you have not shown signs of improvement, you should contact NHS 111 online, or by phone if you have no internet access.

Cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean you must continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But.similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms? 

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to 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 immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Should I avoid public places?

Most people who feel well can continue to go to work, school and public places and should only stay at home and self isolate if advised by a medical professional or the coronavirus service.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.

When to call NHS 111

NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS