Welcome to the OutUK series looking at gay men and their health brought to you in association with the NHS website.
Each week we'll tackle a different topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We'll have features and advice on everything from relationships, sexual health, mental and physical conditions and how to stay fit. You can follow any of links provided below for more information direct from the nhs.uk website, or view any of our Previous A to Z Features.

This Week - C : Coronavirus Covid-19
How to check if you have symptoms

OutUK's Latest Advice on Coronavirus:

The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are usually mild, but some people can become very unwell.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • 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)
  • 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 coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service if you have any of:

  • high temperature
  • new, continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

111 will tell you what to do and help you get a test if you need one.

Call 111 if you cannot get help online. Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.

Babies and children

Call 111 if you're worried about a baby or child under 5.

If your child seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call 999.

Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.

Get more advice about coronavirus in children.

Staying at home if you have symptoms (self-isolation)

If your symptoms are mild you must not to leave your home. This is called self-isolation.

  • Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 7 days from when their symptoms started.
  • Anyone who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person in your home started having symptoms.

Self Isolation if you live with someone who has symptoms


Image by rawpixel.com

Coronavirus explained

A colorful 3D rendering of a spiky fuzzball has spread around the world at least as fast as the coronavirus. The image, used by news media around the world, was created by Alissa Eckert, a medical illustrator at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It is not a photograph, but rather an illustrated visualisation of the microscopic coronavirus. The 3D rendering of the novel coronavirus uses vibrant colors that are not what would appear if you could see the virus with your own eyes, but here's what the image reveals:


Image: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

The gray surface is a spherical envelope that surrounds the nucleus of the virus, containing genetic material.

Orange bits are membrane proteins (M proteins), the most abundant structural protein in the virus and one that gives it form, says Eckert. These and other proteins vary from one type of virus to another, and can be used to help understand or identify one virus from another.

Yellow bits are envelope proteins (E proteins), the smallest of the structural proteins. They play an important role in regulating virus replication, entry, assembly and release, according to research.

Red spikes are clumps of proteins (S proteins) and are what the virus uses to attach to the cell. They also create the effect of a halo, or corona, around the virus. home:

The red spikes latch onto human cells and cause the membrane of the virus to fuse with the membrane of the human cell. The genes from the coronavirus can then enter the host cell and be copied.

The red spikes are "10 to 20 times more likely to bind" to human cells than the spike from the 2002 SARS coronavirus, allowing it to spread more easily from person to person.

OutUK's Latest Advice on Coronavirus:

We'll have more information and advice next week on another topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We have covered many subjects in this series and you can catch up with all of our Previous A to Z Features.

If you want to find out more about this week's subject you can visit the Original article on the NHS website. If you are worried by any aspect of your health make sure you go and see your doctor or book an appointment at your local clinic.

Photos: LightFieldStudios and one of VladOrlov, Stockcube, darak77, ajr_images or rawpixel.com.

 

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