What to do if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection with COVID-19,

The epidemic is not over yet, but the success of the vaccination program means that most people who have been infected with COVID-19 will no longer be seriously ill. However, getting vaccinated does not make you immune or prevent you from becoming infected.

Learning to live with COVID depends on all of us taking wise steps to help stop the spread of viruses and other respiratory infections, which in turn will help protect those who are most at risk.

Although legal requirements have been raised around the COVID-19 system, you are strongly encouraged to follow this public health advice so that we can all safely enjoy our restored freedom.

Advice for adults over 18 with symptoms of respiratory infections including COVID-19

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection like Covid-19 and you have a high temperature or you feel sick, you should try to stay home and avoid contact with others (if you have one) or until you have a high temperature. Don’t feel sick anymore.

Symptoms of COVID-19, flu and common respiratory infections include:

  • Persistent cough
  • High temperature, fever or chills
  • Losing or changing your normal sense of taste or smell
  • Weakness of breath
  • Unexplained fatigue, lack of energy
  • Muscle aches or pains that are not caused by exercise
  • Not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • Headaches that are abnormal or more chronic than usual
  • Sore throat, sore throat or runny nose
  • Diarrhea, feeling sick or getting sick

If you have any of these symptoms, it is especially important to avoid close contact with someone you know who is at risk of serious illness if they are infected, especially those whose immunity means they are at higher risk of serious illness. , Despite being vaccinated

If possible, try to work from home. If you are unable to work from home, talk to your employer about the options available to you. When you feel sick, you may want to ask family, friends or neighbors to get food and other necessities for you. If you need to leave home in case of illness, be sure to take the following precautions: Cover your face or wear a surgical face mask, avoid crowds or enclosures, and cover your face and nose when coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands regularly.

Steps with a positive COVID-19 test for adults over 18 years of age

Extensive testing is no longer available, although some people will continue to test because of workplace needs or to manage other people’s risk. If your test results are positive, you should try and avoid staying at home and interacting with other people 5 days The day you took the test. You should avoid meeting people who are at risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 for 10 days from the day of the test to make sure you are no longer contagious.

If you have to leave your home within 5 days after feeling sick or after a positive test, you should wear a face mask; Avoid crowded places such as public transport, large social gatherings and enclosed or poorly ventilated places; Exercise outside and away from others; And always remember good hand and respiratory hygiene.

Advice for close contact

People who live in the same house who have a positive COVID-19 test have the highest risk of becoming infected, as they are more likely to have long-term contact with an infected person.

Intimate contact can take up to 10 days for infection to occur, and during that time you should avoid contact with people you know who are at high risk of serious illness and limit close contact with people outside your home, especially in crowded places.

If you develop symptoms during this time, you should follow the guidelines for people with symptoms.

Advice for children and adolescents 18 years and under

Respiratory infections are common in children and adolescents but we know they have a lower risk of Covid-19 infections, compared to the greater risk of missing out on education or disruption.

Considering the importance of education, children and young people should continue their education in nursery, school, college or university if they have symptoms of mild shortness of breath. They should stay home only if they are sick or have a high temperature. They should avoid contact with other people unless they feel well enough or have a temperature.

COVID-19 testing is no longer recommended for children and adolescents 18 years of age or younger unless directed by a health professional. If they test positive for COVID-19, they should try and avoid contact with others for 3 days from the day of the test. After 3 days, they can resume normal activities, including returning to education, if they feel better and do not have a high temperature. It is also recommended that children and adolescents who live with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 continue to participate in their education system as usual.

See our guide for more information: People with Respiratory Infections with COVID-19

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