Over the coming months it is likely that from time to time students will suffer from seasonal colds and flu.  This will make identifying people infected with COVID-19 much more difficult and therefore it is important to understand the symptoms of COVID-19 and be able to spot the difference between them and a common cold or other condition.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back. If using a thermometer then it would generally be considered high if it is over 37.8 degrees. 
  • 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
  • Breathing difficulties – can be a symptom with more severe infections

The following symptoms are not usually associated with COVID-19 and therefore are likely to indicate a different condition:

  • Sneezing  – this is most commonly associated with a cold or an allergy
  • Body aches – this is most commonly associated with cold or flu
  • Headache – this is most commonly associated with a flu
  • Sore throat – this is most commonly associated with a cold
  • Runny nose – this is most commonly associated with a cold
  • Diarrhoea – this is most commonly associated with flu or a gastro infection

If you are not sure whether your child has a cold, flu or COVID-19 then you can use NHS 111 online who have a symptom checker that will help identify the most likely condition. https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/