Coronavirus symptoms: How can you tell if your child has the virus? The signs to look for

Coronavirus saw the biggest daily rise in the UK on Wednesday 11th March, with figures topping more than 100 new cases within 24 hours. As the virus spreads, how can you tell if your child has the infection?

Schools in the UK aren’t currently being shut down, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying it “could do more harm than good”.

At present, schools will only shut their doors if a student or member of staff contracts COVID-19.

One measure that has been implemented is all school trips abroad have been cancelled.


  • Boris Johnson could make U-turn on school closures within ‘weeks’

Other countries are taking a more precautionary approach, with the likes of Ireland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Denmark announcing schools will be temporarily shut.

Keith Neal, emeritus professor of the epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham, said: “Children do not seem to get serious illness with COVID-19.

“We do not yet know what role they play in significantly spreading the virus.”

The epidemic has led to new advice from the government, which states anybody – children included – to stay at home if they’ve got a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.

It’s no longer recommended to call NHS 111 to tell healthcare professionals if you or a child are staying at home.

Official advice is to not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital – this is to help protect others in the community while you’re infectious.

The government states: “We will not be testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms.”

Children may reveal they’re infected by showcasing mild symptoms of COVID-19.

Such mild symptoms include a dry cough and fever – reading 38 degrees and above.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlight another known symptom of COVID-19.

This symptom is shortness of breath, another – as pointed out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – is aches and pains.

Shining a light on less common symptoms, the WHO add people, including children, may suffer from nasal congestion, a sore throat or diarrhoea.


  • BBC QT: Boris slammed by UK health expert over coronavirus response

Mr Johnson admitted to the public that as the COVID-19 outbreak continues, families will “lose loved ones before their time”.

With such a harrowing prediction, critics are asking why the UK’s response to the virus isn’t more robust.

Italy has closed shops and churches, America has shut down Disneyland, and the UK is repeating: “Wash your hands with soap and water.”

Self isolation is becoming more prevalent, though, and people are seemingly panic buying, with empty shelves now appearing in supermarkets.

For those spending seven days in quarantine, the NHS 111 online coronavirus service is only to be used if the following applies:

  • You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • Your condition gets worse
  • Your symptoms do not get better after seven days

The current instruction from the NHS is to “only call 111 if you cannot get help online”.

There are tips available for staying at home on the NHS website.

A few guidelines include to sleep alone if possible, avoid contact with other people and drink plenty of water.

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