How to treat Coronavirus symptoms at home

The coronavirus (COVID-19) sounds scary, and for some people, especially those with underlying health conditions, it very well may be. However, most people will likely only have a mild case of coronavirus.

Here’s what you need to know to treat a mild case at home.

First and foremost, STAY HOME! This applies even if you don’t have a confirmed case but have coronavirus symptoms.


  1. Get lots of rest
  2. Drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear
  3. Take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable


  1. Lie on your side or sit upright instead and try to avoid lying on your back
  2. Try having a teaspoon of honey to help ease a cough. Don’t give honey to babies under 12 months

If this doesn’t help, ask a non-isolating friend or family member to seek advice from a pharmacist on your behalf.


  1. Keep your room cool. Try turning the heating down or opening a window. Do not use a fan as it may spread the virus
  2. Try breathing slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth, with your lips together
  3. Sit upright in a chair relaxing your shoulders, so you’re not hunched
  4. Lean forward slightly – support yourself by putting your hands on your knees or on something stable like a chair
  5. Try to stay calm if you’re feeling breathless. Anxiety can make it worse

Find out how you can help relieve breathlessness in the short video below.

Do not go to a pharmacy

If you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms, you must all stay at home. If you’re concerned about your symptoms and need medical advice, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

Getting help while you’re staying at home

The Essex Wellbeing Service can help you while you have to stay at home (self-isolate). Call 0300 303 9988 8am to 7pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 2pm (at weekends)

You must only go to A&E immediately or call 999 if:

  • you’re so breathless you’re unable to say short sentences when resting
  • your breathing has got suddenly worse
  • you cough up blood
  • you feel cold and sweaty, with pale or blotchy skin
  • you have a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin and does not fade when you roll a glass over it
  • you collapse or faint
  • you feel agitated, confused or very drowsy
  • you’ve stopped peeing or are peeing much less than usual

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