Is a sore throat a symptom of coronavirus? The signs you need to know - and what to do if you have them
Strict lockdown measures have been enforced in the UK an effort to minimise social contact and thereby reduce the spread of Covid-19.
While widely publicised symptoms of the virus include a new, persistent cough and a high temperature, there are other less common symptoms to look out for - many of which resemble common cold and flu symptoms.
So can a sore throat indicate that you have coronavirus? Here’s what you should know.
Is a sore throat a symptom of coronavirus?
A sore throat can be a sign of a coronavirus infection, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
It is not considered one of the most common symptoms, although some people with coronavirus may suffer from it.
Sore throats are usually caused by viruses, such as cold or flu, and can cause pain when swallowing, redness in the back of the mouth, a mild cough, and make the throat dry and scratchy.
What are the other symptoms of coronavirus?
The most common symptoms of coronavirus are a fever, tiredness and a dry cough, according to the (WHO).
However, some people may also suffer with the following:
- aches and pains
- nasal congestion
- runny nose
- sore throat
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
Around one in six people who contract the virus become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing, and about 80 per cent recover without needing any special treatment.
Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop a serious illness.
How is coronavirus spread?
The virus is thought to spread from human to human via small droplets from the nose or mouth when someone coughs, sneezes or exhales.
These droplets can then be picked up from objects or surfaces, when people touch their eyes, nose or mouth, or if the droplets are breathed in.
Does everyone display symptoms?
Some people can become infected with coronavirus and not develop any symptoms, or feel unwell.
If you don’t show any symptoms, this is known as being asymptomatic.
People who are asymptomatic pose a risk of spreading the virus to others, as they are unaware they need to self-isolate.
As such, they could be passing the virus on to others without knowing.
It is possible that a large number of people could already have coronavirus despite not showing any symptoms, but as yet it is impossible to tell.
It is likely that this will occur more often in the healthiest and younger age groups, although it cannot be confirmed without a test.
What should I do if I display symptoms?
Health experts have warned those who experience symptoms of the virus, including a new or dry cough, or a high temperature, to self-isolate for two weeks until the symptoms have ended.
All other members of the household should also self-isolate for at least 14 days, even if they themselves do not have any symptoms.
If anyone else develops symptoms during that time, that person must stay home for an additional seven days from when they developed symptoms.
Once this period has passed they no longer need to isolate, providing the symptoms have ended.
When should I seek medical help?
If you suffer any symptoms of coronavirus, Public Health England (PHE) are urging people not to visit their GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You should use NHS online services instead.
Only call 111 if:
- you are not able to get online
- you have been instructed to call
- your symptoms worsen
Call 999 for help if you have a serious or life-threatening emergency, and tell the call adviser if you have coronavirus symptoms.
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