With Coronavirus causing panic across the world, we wanted to put together some answers to the frequently asked questions concerning those later in life and their families and loved ones. We shall be regularly updating this page inline with the latest guidance and advice from the government and other authoritative bodies, as information changes.
What is Coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
The coronavirus family was first recognised by science in the 1960s, and it first got its name because of the monarch’s crown-like structure they thought it first resembled. However, nowadays, scientists have concluded it is much more like an old-fashioned naval mine.
Is there a cure for Coronavirus?
The news on a cure for Coronavirus is changing every day. The official guidance from the World Health Organisation states:
Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19.
At present, they state the best way to prevent the spread (whilst no cure is available), is to follow the following guidance:
What are the main symptoms of Coronavirus?
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
a high temperature – hot to touch on your neck or back
a cough – a repetitive cough which has just started
shortness of breath
How can I help prevent coronavirus?
The main thing that you can do to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus is ensuring basic hygiene is maintained.
Washing hands meticulously after venturing outside and making contact with external objects is key. By “meticulously”, we recommend (as suggested by current guidelines), washing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soapy, hot water.
The science behind this is that the combination of soap and water breaks down the membrane of the virus, thereby destroying it.
What should I do if I am showing symptoms of coronavirus?
The official advice from the NHS is as follows:
Self-isolate for 7 days if you live alone, if you or a member of your household is exhibiting symptoms then your entire household must self-isolate for 14 days.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
They have also advised that they will not be testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms.
I would like to visit my elderly grandparents, still living at home. Is this okay?
Older members of society, along with immunosuppressed individuals, are more susceptible to infection from the virus. The weaker the immune system, the more difficult it is to fight off infection.
Visiting those at risk puts them under serious threat and should only be done so if precautions are taken, contact is kept to a complete minimum, and you deem it absolutely necessary to visit.
Understanding the Virus, The Economist.https://www.economist.com/briefing/2020/03/12/understanding-sars-cov-2-and-the-drugs-that-might-lessen-its-power
Overview of Coronavirus, NHS.https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Guidelines for the elderly, Age UK. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/conditions-illnesses/coronavirus/
Infections in your Region, BBC.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51768274