Coronavirus symptoms: What is a persistent cough? Dr Hilary reveals how to identify one |

Coronavirus can be difficult to pin-point when you’ve come down with what might be a cold – or an infection from SARS-CoV-2. Dr Hilary reveals what a persistent cough really is.

Addressing the nation on Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary answers most of Briton’s burning questions regarding the pandemic.

Specialising in health, Dr Hilary gave the low-down on what a persistent cough really is.

The NHS list two symptoms of Covid-19: a fever and a new, dry continuous cough.

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It elaborates that a fever means “hot to touch on the back or chest”.

But what is a persistent cough supposed to look and sound like? And is it any different from a normal cough?

Dr Hilary revealed: “What I mean by a persistent cough, is a cough that would be five or six times an hour, for at least half a day and more than that, probably two days.”

He continued: “It’s a new cough, a dry cough, it’s not a productive cough with phlegm.

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Coronavirus: Dr Hilary on the symptoms

Coronavirus: Dr Hilary reveals what a dry, persistent cough really is (Image: Getty)

“It’s come out of the blue, it’s persistent, you’re coughing a lot every hour, for at least half a day, but probably longer than that.”

The NHS states a new, continuous cough “means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours”.

It adds: “If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual.”

Anybody who develops a new, persistent dry cough – that matches Dr Hilary’s or the NHS’s description of what that means – needs to self isolate.

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People displaying symptoms of Covid-19 need to self isolate for seven days following the first sign of infection.

This seven-day period of self-isolation restricts you to only leave your home once a day for a form of exercise.

And while doing so, you must keep at least two meters away from other people.

You’ll need to arrange food delivery or medicine drop-offs, because you’re not permitted to leave the house for any other reason except for exercise during this time.

Coronavirus: A new, persistent cough

Coronavirus: A new, persistent cough is a sign of infection (Image: Getty)


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The week of self-isolation is to help protect others from catching the infection.

Those living in your household must also self-isolate, but for 14 days, from the moment you present symptoms of Covid-19.

A cough may persist longer than seven days, but it’s fine to remove yourself from self-isolation after a week if you don’t have a fever.

The reasons behind such government measures is to help curb the spread of Covid-19, reduce the strain on the NHS and to save lives.


Coronavirus: Clap For Our Carers

Coronavirus: Clap For Our Carers on Thursday evenings at 8pm (Image: Getty)

You can show your support for the NHS by joining in the weekly Clap For Our Carers.

Clap For Our Carers is a campaign that involves Britons applauding the NHS staff for helping people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The nation puts their hands together every Thursday evening at 8pm.

It’s a great way to feel the community spirit, with the sound of clapping, whooping and cheering fill the otherwise empty streets of Britain.