As you will have read, there’s now a recommended 7-day period of self-isolation if you’ve got a fever >37.8C, and/or a new/persistent cough. If you live with others, they will need to isolate for 14 days. This is because it can take time to show symptoms.

We may all now be in lockdown as per Boris Johnson’s address to the nation, but there are even more stringent steps you should take above and beyond the Prime Minister’s instructions if you suspect you have contracted the virus.

One of our referring doctors, Dr Martin Saweirs, has allowed us to share some of his top tips of what to do when self-isolating due to symptoms.

He recommends:

1. Taking analgesia regularly – it relieves fever, pain

– paracetamol 4 times daily

– take REGULARLY, not just as and when – they will be more effective

– do not take ibuprofen as some research suggests it may make symptoms worse

2. Drink water regularly – LOTS

– maintaining hydration is fundamental to helping your immune system

– when feverish Dr Saweirs recommends people drink more water than usual, 3-3.5L if possible

– making sure you’re passing lots of clear urine – a sign of good hydration

3. Wash your hands regularly – with soap and water

– wash backs of your hands, between fingers (gutters for viruses) & your thumbs – we all forget thumbs!

– wash for at least 20 seconds. Don’t sneeze into your hands! Use a tissue and then bin it!

4. Disinfect hard surfaces

– coronaviruses can survive for days on PHONES, metal, plastics & ceramic.

5. Stay at least 2 metres away from relatives/family members

– within 2m the virus can be spread by cough droplets

– do not leave home

– make arrangements to have food, medicines and other essentials delivered to you and left outside your door. If you have to leave home, do so as little as possible and maintain a safe distance from others.

6. Video-call friends to maintain human contact & avoid loneliness!

Here’s the official recommendations from the government – please do check regularly as information is very much subject to change.