What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with some causing less severe disease, such as the common cold, and others causing more severe disease.
COVID-19 is the newest, not seen before in humans. Because it is a new virus, scientists are learning more each day. Although most people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms, COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and even death. Some groups, including older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk of severe illness.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe and effective. They give you the best protection against COVID-19.
Find out about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, visit the Essex COVID-19 vaccine website
On this website, you’ll find lots of information and advice including:
Symptoms of COVID-19
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
Most people with symptoms have at least 1 of these.
Find out the latest coronavirus information.
What to do if you have symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19:
- Get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible.
- You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
- Anyone in your childcare should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
How to look after yourself at home if you have coronavirus (COVID-19)
Most people with coronavirus (COVID-19) feel better within a few weeks. You may be able to look after yourself at home while you recover.
Get help while you’re staying at home
NHS Volunteer Responders can help you while you have to stay at home (self-isolate). They can help with things like collecting shopping and medicines.
Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, everyday) to arrange help from a volunteer.
For some people, COVID-19 can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or “long COVID”.
Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer.
The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get COVID-19.
People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.
Find out more information about long COVID, visit nhs.uk.
Further COVID-19 information
To make sure you receive the most up-to-date guidance on symptoms, how to look after yourself and others and information on self-isolation and social distancing, please visit nhs.uk.
You can also visit your local authority website for local information and support.
Further localised information can be found on the Essex COVID-19 vaccine website.
Mental health support services
COVID-19 can have an impact on your mental health. You may be bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also feel low, worried, anxious, or be concerned about your health or that of those close to you. These are all common reactions to the difficult situation we face.
You can also find more information and support for mental health here.
Immediate access to mental health support resources
A website offering free and immediate access to support from mental health specialists has been launched by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) and partners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.