Wednesday, August 10, 2022

How to tell if you have Covid or heat stroke

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The UK has declared a national emergency over the searing heatwave, with meteorologists predicting temperatures to top 40C for the first time on record.

Health officials have warned that fit and healthy people could become ill and even die as a result of the extreme heat.

While the country is on high alert for the heatwave, the Covid pandemic has not gone away.

Brits, uncomfortable in the heat, can’t be sure of the cause. There is some overlap with symptoms of heat-related illness and Covid-19, including high temperature, headaches and loss of appetite.

When someone suffers from heat exhaustion, they may also feel dizzy, confused, very thirsty, and sick.

It can also cause excessive sweating, pale and clammy skin, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, high temperatures of 38C or more, headaches and cramps in the legs, arms and stomach, according to the NHS.

This is not usually serious if the person can be cooled down within 30 minutes, e.g. B. by moving to a colder place, drinking plenty of water, and lying down with feet slightly elevated.

But heat stroke is more serious than heat exhaustion and should be treated as an emergency.

This happens when the body can no longer cool down when the heat is too high, which leads to dizziness, 40°C or more and not sweating even when feeling too warm.

Other symptoms, according to St. John’s Ambulance, include a headache, restlessness or confusion, a “full and pounding pulse” that quickly becomes unresponsive, and hot, red, and dry skin.

The NHS says to call 111 if anyone has any signs of heatstroke, including feeling unwell, even after resting in a cool place for 30 minutes, not sweating despite feeling too hot, a high temperature of 40C or more and feels confused.

If you have symptoms such as rapid breathing or shortness of breath, seizures, loss of consciousness, or an unresponsiveness, call 999 instead.

While there is some overlap with Covid, this virus can also cause chills, persistent cough, and loss or change in smell and taste.

Covid symptoms also include a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose and diarrhea, according to the NHS.

Most people in England now have to pay for a Covid test if they want to check if they have the virus.

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