What to do if you show symptoms?

Published Mar 31, 2020


CAPE TOWN- Many of us have caught ourselves wondering if the scratch in our throat could be caused by the Coronavirus.

What are the correct steps to take if a you think you may have symptoms of Covid-19?

What do I do if I start showing symptoms?

The early symptoms of Covid-19 include having a fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath, all of which are also symptoms of the common flu. However, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases(NICD) advises that if a person shows these symptoms they should first contact their doctor or visit their local clinic.

To qualify for a coronavirus test, you would first need to be assessed by your medical practitioner who will collect a samples from either your nose or throat before sending them off for testing.

The NICD recommends that you should only get tested if you display symptoms and if you have:

- Been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 person

- Travelled to a high risk country

- Worked in or been to a healthcare facility treating people with Covid-19

- Have a severe case of pneumonia with an unknown cause.

Where should I go if I want to test for Covid-19?

After you have contacted your local doctor, they should be able to advise you of the next steps. If you think you may have contracted the virus, you can also call the NICD helpline on

0800 029 999 and you will be advised on possible testing facilities.

You will be required to provide your doctor and government officials a list of people you had close contact with from 2 days before you became ill. These people will also be required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms.

If your results come back positive, your medical practitioner or a community health worker may contact you or visit your home. They will assess if you need to be admitted to hospital or if your home environment is suitable for isolation and if members of your household can monitor your illness from a safe distance.

Can I recover at home?

Many people who have recovered from Covid-19 experienced mild symptoms and were able to recover from home.

The Department of Health advises that people with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease consult with their doctor regarding where they begin treatment.

If your doctor advises you to manage your illness at home, it is important that you treat the symptoms and monitor your condition.

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