With new legislation from the government that came into affect on Monday, we thought it would be good to make you aware of the facts of coronavirus, and how we can help put your mind at rest.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Those suffering with COVID-19 will have mild to moderate respiratory symptoms such as a cough and fever, but will not need any special treatment. However, older people and those with underlying medical problems are more likely to develop serious issues which may involve going to intensive care.
What do I do if I think I have got it?
If you believe you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you should self isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms first started, and arrange to have a test. You should also notify your employer and follow any guidance that they have set out. Consider also alerting people who you do not live with and have had close contact with within the last 48 hours, so that they are aware that you have symptoms of COVID-19 and can also self isolate or seek advice.
How do I prevent the spread?
There are four main actions you can take to help prevent the spread of coronavirus to others who may be vulnerable to the virus:
- Hand washing: cleaning your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser is the most effective way of reducing the risk of passing infection to others or to yourself.
- Face coverings: used correctly, a face covering may help protect others from reducing the transmission of COVID-19. This is a legal requirement when in supermarkets or other indoor public areas.
- Covering coughs and sneezes: cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or use the crook of your elbow, not your hands. You should use hand sanitiser or wash your hands immediately afterwards also.
- Avoid having visitors into your home: avoid social visitors, friends or family into your household. If you do, current legislation states that no more than 6 people are allowed to congregate indoor or outdoors, excluding schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.
"You need to wear a mask while exercising"
Sweat can make masks wet more quickly, promoting growth of microorganisms. The important preventative measures whilst exercising is to maintain physical distance of at least one metre from others as well as cleaning any equipment.
"Masks make my oxygen levels lower"
Whilst prolonged use of medical masks can be uncomfortable, it does not lead to CO2 intoxication or oxygen deficiency. Make sure that your mask fits properly and is tight enough to allow you to breathe normally.
"What's the point in antibodies or an antibody test? They disappear anyway"
A positive test result on an antibody test means that you may have been infected with the coronavirus 1-3 weeks prior. In a study, 96% of those tested who had a previous infection confirmed by a PCR swab test had antibodies found in their system.
Whilst it is currently unknown whether having antibodies provides immunity against having COVID-19 again, understanding the trends and how these vary by area and demographics can help local public health responses, identifying groups who may be at an increased risk. For example, we now are aware through antibody testing that BAME individuals are 2-3 times more likely to have had COVID-19, and 16% of care home workers with client facing roles and 12% of healthcare professionals with direct patient contact had positive results.
COVID-19 Testing and Certificates
At My Specialist GP, we are able to offer three different COVID-19 tests: a RT-PCR swab test, antibody finger prick test or an antibody blood test. We are also able to give you alongside your results a certificate for use for travel or business - either a certification of results for £10, or a certification of results with doctor confirmation of no symptoms for £25.
Our swab tests are available within 48 to 72 hours, however an antibody finger prick test can be back within as little as 20 minutes. To find out more about each option and book online click here. Please be sure that you bring your ID with you when taking the test at our surgery, and fill out the patient's full name when booking.