Welcome to the OutUK series looking at gay men and their health brought to you in association with the NHS website.
OutUK is presenting a special report on the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic as part of our A to Z of Gay Health. Follow any of links provided below for more information direct from the NHS website. You can also view our Previous A to Z Features on everything from relationships, sexual health, mental and physical conditions and how to stay fit.
OutUK's regular A to Z of Gay Health continues this week with:
L - Leg Cramps.

Special Report - C : Coronavirus Covid-19
Symptoms and what to do

OutUK's Latest Advice on Coronavirus:

COVID-19 symptoms can include:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills) - a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.

Most people feel better within a few days or weeks of their first COVID-19 symptoms and make a full recovery within 12 weeks. For some people, it can be a more serious illness and their symptoms can last longer.

What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19

You may be able to look after yourself at home if you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19.

Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you or your child have symptoms and either:

  • have a high temperature
  • do not feel well enough to go to work, school, childcare, or do your normal activities

You can go back to your normal activities when you feel better or do not have a high temperature.

If your child has mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or mild cough, and they feel well enough, they can go to school or childcare.

If you are eligible for treatments for COVID-19, you should take an NHS rapid lateral flow test as soon as you get symptoms.

Find out more about treatments for COVID-19 and who can have them

What to do if you have tested positive

You are no longer required to do a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test if you have symptoms.

But if you or your child have tested positive for COVID-19:

  • try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day the test was taken if you or your child are under 18 years old - children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults
  • try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day you took your test if you are 18 years old or over
  • avoid meeting people who are more likely to get seriously ill from viruses, such as people with a weakened immune system, for 10 days after the day you took your test

Find out more about who can get a free NHS COVID-19 test

Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if:

  • you're worried about your or a child's COVID-19 symptoms or are not sure what to do
  • the symptoms are getting worse or are not getting better
  • you or a child have other signs of illness, such as a rash, loss of appetite, or feeling weak
  • you or a child have a high temperature that last 5 days or more or does not come down with paracetamol
  • a child under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • a child 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature

It's particularly important to get help if you're at increased risk of getting ill from COVID-19, such as if you're pregnant, aged 60 or over, or have a weakened immune system.

You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.

Call 999 or go to A&E if you or a child:

  • seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong - children and babies in particular can get unwell very quickly
  • get sudden chest pain
  • are so breathless you're unable to say short sentences when resting or your breathing has suddenly got worse - in babies their stomach may suck in under their ribs
  • start coughing up blood
  • collapse, faint, or have a seizure or fit for the first time
  • a rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis

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.

More information

Read full guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19 on GOV.UK

GOV.UK guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk from COVID-19

OutUK's Latest Advice on Coronavirus:

We have covered many subjects in this series and you can read all our Previous A to Z Features on everything from personal relationships, sexual health, mental and physical conditions and how to stay fit.

If you want to find out more about Coronavirus Covid-19 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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