Find out what are the main symptoms of Covid-19 and how to act – Region of Leiria

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The DGS has changed the definition of Covid-19 cases. What symptoms can a patient have to be considered a possible case of Covid-19?
The symptoms predicted in the DGS guidelines are: coughing again or worsening of the usual pattern; fever (body temperature ≥ 38.0 ° C) with no other attributable cause; difficulty breathing with no other attributable cause; sudden onset change in taste; sudden onset change in smell.

Should the symptoms be cumulative or is a single one considered a suspect case?
In the presence of only one of the symptoms, we should always suggest that we are infected.

What distinguishes the symptoms of a new coronavirus infection, the flu, a cold or an allergy?
Strictly speaking, infections with SARS-CoV-2 and the influenza virus have overlapping symptoms. Both are infections caused by viruses that spread from person to person, mainly through the air. It is difficult to tell them apart by the symptoms alone, so diagnostic tests are used.

When should I worry and contact the SNS 24 line?
It is important that an infected person does not contact others, as the transmission of the virus is easy and fast. Therefore, in the face of one of the symptoms referred, even of low intensity, the COVID hypothesis must be implemented and contact the SNS24 line (808 24 24 24).

How much is the body temperature of an adult considered a fever? And in a child?
We consider fever to be 38 ° C or greater, and between 37.5 and 38 ° C a subfebrile temperature.

If I just have a fever, should I call SNS 24 or can I take an antipyretic and wait for it to go down?
Fever is an important symptom that should force us to think about COVID, and as such call the SNS24 line. However, if there is an explanatory cause of the fever, the suspicion can be ruled out, but always after contact with the health team of the health center or the SNS24.

If I wake up in the morning with any of these symptoms, should I stay home?
It is an ethical duty not to transmit the disease. In this reasoning, if we hypothesize that we have COVID, we should never go to the workplace or contact other people without that possibility being removed.

How can I justify my absence from work or school if I have to stay at home?
Absences for illness are always justified by the family doctor, whether they are COVID or not COVID. On the other hand, those who have contacted COVID patients, because they are not sick, can only justify their absence by a declaration of prophylactic isolation, issued by the Health Authority.

I have already contacted SNS24. I had an indication to stay home until the family doctor contacted me, but two days passed and I was not contacted. What do I do?
COVID patients should try to contact their family doctor by phone or email and avoid going to face-to-face contact, as they will be with COVID. Contacts of non-sick COVID patients are identified by the COVID patient, who notifies the Health Authority of the people they have been with. You can forget someone and so it is important that those who feel like they are contactors let the person who tested positive so that they clearly identify the health authority of their contacts. If this option is not feasible, you can contact the Public Health Unit by email or phone.

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Strictly speaking, infections with SARS-CoV-2 and the influenza virus have overlapping symptoms. Both are infections caused by viruses, spread from person to person primarily through the air. It is difficult to tell them apart by symptoms alone, therefore diagnostic tests are used ”

Rui Passadouro, public health delegate at ACES Pinhal Litoral

There was a positive case in my son’s class. Only a few students remained isolated. Why was the course not suspended?
When a student becomes ill with COVID, the health authority conducts a risk assessment of the school community in order to break the chain of transmission of the disease. When a student, teacher or other person in the school community tests positive for COVID, it is common and desirable that only those who are positive and those who are at high risk of contracting the infection are isolated, in order to break the Covid – 19. The Health Authority starts by identifying and validating the safety procedures at school, recess, cafeterias and classrooms. Subsequently, it assesses the proximity of people and their means of protection. Finally, it assigns different degrees of risk of infection. Those classified as high risk should be isolated at home. The others, classified as low risk, should continue their activities, in self-monitoring, and should immediately report any changes in their health status, the low risk classification not being risk free.

How is risk assessment done in the classroom?
It is always difficult. It involves evaluating safety protections and trying to understand risky behaviors and assigning an infection risk rating to each item potentially exposed to a case of COVID.

When is there an indication of a course suspension?
Usually, the total suspension of the course occurs when there is no organized behavior towards safety, which makes it impossible to exclude people from the high-risk group. This usually happens in a classroom with children up to 7 years old, who do not wear a mask and circulate in classrooms, where there is no fixed place in the classroom or when there is a serious negligence in observing the rules.

Do the risk assessment criteria differ according to the educational level of the schools? Because?
Safe behavior in the classroom requires some understanding of the mechanisms of disease transmission and also the proper use of protective equipment. We know that young children don’t have to wear a mask, they value affection more than safety, and well, and on the other hand, they walk around inside bedrooms. Adolescents, on the other hand, manage to be more disciplined in favor of safety.

There is a suspected case in my son’s class (awaiting test result). I’m worried. Should I call SNS24?
If in doubt, SNS24 was created for this specific purpose. However, before the result of the test is known, there is not much to be done in the classroom other than excluding the student who is waiting for the result. We know that the SNS24, so as not to know the reality and not to link up with the school, provides guidelines which will subsequently be corrected by the health authority, which takes the final decision.

How long does the intervention of the Health Authority take in these cases?
It is clear that the Health Authority is struggling to satisfy everyone in less than 24 hours, but schools are still a priority, with a direct line from schools, according to their emergency plans, with the Authority. health.

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(Article published in the December 3, 2020 edition of REGION OF LEIRIA)

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