Listen to what a coronavirus cough sounds like so you know when to self-isolate

One of the obvious symptoms to know if you might have caught coronavirus is coughing – but how do you differentiate it from a common cough?

As of yesterday, there were 2,625 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK, with 103 patients dying.

To help people identify whether they have become infected, BBC Radio 2 yesterday shared an audio clip of what a "coronavirus cough" sounds like and what other symptoms people should look out for.

Host Jeremy Vine mentioned the audio from BBC's Laura Foster after listening to an audience's concern.

She said: "BBC's Laura Foster has recorded a really useful description of the two main symptoms of the coronavirus."

In the clip, Laura explains: "The two main symptoms of coronavirus to look out for are a continuous dry cough and, or a fever.

"If you're sneezing a lot, got a runny nose or a headache, you may be ill, but you've probably not got coronavirus.

"So how high a fever is a coronavirus one? And what exactly is a continuous dry cough?

"Well, it's when you cough and there's no mucous or phlegm. There's basically no gooey substance in your tissue. And this is not the odd cough here or there. It has to be coughing regularly for no other reason, such as clearing your throat or smoking."

As Laura explains what the cough entails, several people can be heard with dry coughs in the background to underline what it sounds like.

She then mentions fever as another prominent symptom, saying it is something "you will know about it".

"Technically it's a body temperature of more than 37.8C or 100F," Laura continues.

"But if you've not got a thermometer, basically you will feel hot, and your chest and back would be hot if someone touched you."

GP Dr Sarah Jarvis, who regularly attends the Radio 2 show, has picked up a few points to clarify regarding self-isolation.

She said: "The first thing is if you have that cough, if you develop symptoms and you live with someone else, you need to self-isolate for seven days, and if after seven days you feel fine again, as long as your temperature is settled and you feel well in yourself, you can actually leave the house after seven days but everyone else you live with needs to stay in for 14 [days].

"And that's because we're looking at what we call incubation versus infectious period. So anyone else who comes into contact with you as soon as you start getting the cough, we need to talk about them probably incubating from then.

"And that means they have to add in a median – an average – of five days, up to possibly 11 days onto the time after they develop symptoms, so that would be 14 days in order to be sure that they don't develop symptoms.

"If they then develop symptoms then they would need themselves to self-isolate for another seven days, and the cycle starts again."

Dr Jarvis further elaborated on coughing as she said if it's a sore throat, a tickly cough or a headache, it is "much less likely to be coronavirus" and for that, the NHS don't recommend people to self-isolate.

She added: "But one thing I would say really strictly, even if you don't have that classic fever or cough, please do not, if you have any of those symptoms, go near somebody who is elderly or vulnerable.

"Because there is a very, very small chance that it could be coronavirus, you don't even want to take a very small chance with someone else's health."

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