COVID-19

Prevention

Protect yourself and others around you by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions. Follow advice provided by your local public health agency.

When do people need to go to hospital?

The majority of people with coronavirus will recover after rest and pain relief (such as paracetamol).

The main reason people need hospital treatment is difficulty breathing.

Doctors may scan the lungs to see how badly they are affected and give support, such as oxygen or ventilation, if needed.

However, people should not go to A&E if they are concerned. In the UK, the NHS 111 website will guide you through what to do.

If you are so breathless that you are unable to speak more than a few words you will be told to call 999, as this is a medical emergency.

If you become so ill that you’ve stopped doing all of your usual daily activities then it will advise speaking to a nurse by dialling NHS 111.

What happens in intensive care?

Intensive care units (ICUs) are specialist wards for people who are very ill.

Coronavirus patients will get oxygen support, which can involve using a facemask, or a tube in the nose.

The most invasive way – for the most seriously ill patients – is ventilation where air, with increased levels of oxygen, is pushed into the lungs via a tube in the mouth, nose or through a small cut in the throat.

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