General Information On Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We know there is a lot of Coronavirus-related information out there, which is being updated constantly so it can be hard to know what to do for the best. Our Facebook Live Coronavirus (COVID-19) Q&A with Professor Del Galdo was organised in April 2020, exclusively for our scleroderma and Raynaud's community. Please click to watch part 1 and part 2


  1. What is COVID-19?
  2. What are the symptoms? What should I do if I develop symptoms?
  3. Getting tested
  4. Can I get contact tracing phone app for COVID-19?

1. What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a strain of coronavirus which first emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019. It affects your lungs and airways, which for some people only causes mild symptoms, whilst in others it may cause more severe illness requiring in some cases hospitalisation and/ or death.  

2. What are the symptoms? What should I do if I develop symptoms?

COVID-19 has three main symptoms: a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a change / loss in your sense of smell or taste. However, in some cases symptoms can overlap with those associated with colds and the flu including fatigue, muscle ache, shortness of breath, and headaches.

If you have any of these symptoms it is important to get tested for COVID-19, ideally using a PCR test, and isolate until you get a result. If you do have COVID-19, you must isolate until you test negative, with a minimum of 5 full days isolation. 

3. Getting tested

Anyone with symptoms should be tested to check if it is COVID-19. The sooner you can get tested, the more it can help to control the spread of the virus.

In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, if your test is positive, the NHS (or Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland) will get in touch with you. Tests can be done at home, or in a medical setting.

There are two main coronavirus tests:

PCR – Polymerase chain reaction, mainly for people who have symptoms

LFD – Lateral Flow Device, for people who do not have symptoms

4. Can I get a contact tracing phone app for COVID-19?

Contact tracing apps for mobile phones are now available in every UK nation. These apps could help control the spread of coronavirus by alerting you if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

· Get the Northern Ireland COVID-19 tracing app