Are doctors surgeries and dentists open? How coronavirus impacts your day-to-day health appointments

Are private tests worth it? 

Public Health England (PHE) says that you will only receive a free test for Covid-19 if your symptoms are severe enough to warrant hospital treatment or you live in a care home, leaving a large number of people with mild symptoms – including a fever and a cough – in the dark. Private firms have tried to fill the gap, delivering home testing kits for up to £295 that people carry out themselves, using a throat swab. 

The private kits are not officially endorsed by PHE, but neither PHE nor the NHS has expressed any doubt about their accuracy. So the choice is yours: if you are desperate to know your Covid status and don’t mind shelling out hundreds of pounds, then a private test might be a good idea. 

If you get it once, can you get it again? If so, would the second dose be milder or more severe? 

The answer to this isn’t yet completely clear. 

Last month, the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said it is unlikely you could catch it twice: “In any infectious disease there are cases where people can catch something again [but] they’re rare”, he said. 

Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, added: “Even in diseases which do not have long-lasting immunity there’s usually a short period of immunity and that’s enough for a season.”

What is the truth about ibuprofen and coronavirus?  

Experts suggest ibuprofen could dampen the immune system’s response to Covid-19, aggravating pneumonia symptoms and leading to a lengthier recovery. 

The NHS and Sir Patrick Vallance have both advised people to err on the side of caution and take paracetamol to take their temperature down. The NHS adds if you are already taking an anti-inflammatory on the advice of a doctor, consult them before changing your medication.

What’s more important, age or health? If you are a healthy fit 70-year-old, would you still be at more risk than an overweight, smoking, drinking 55-year old? 

Older people tend to have more severe infections of coronavirus than their younger counterparts, but that does not mean that age is the only relevant factor. Older people can have mild cases, and some younger people are severely affected. 

Death rates in those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure are higher than those with no other serious conditions. These three conditions are largely influenced by lifestyle factors such as weight management, smoking and eating a healthy diet, so it could be that looking after your health generally would help to reduce the severity of the condition.

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