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Coronavirus (COVID-19) content toolkit How to write about coronavirus symptoms

NHS coronavirus symptoms content last updated: 12 January 2021.

We have 4 types of content about the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These are designed to be used in different contexts and across a range of products and services.

Short version

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

This content is best when space is limited – for example, a tweet or text message. It contains all the key information in fewer than 150 characters.

How to use this content

There are several ways you can use the coronavirus content from the NHS website in your website, product or service.

API

Our coronavirus API allows you to integrate the coronavirus (COVID-19) information from the NHS website into your website, product or service.

Widget

Our coronavirus widget is a content box using NHS website styles that contains the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19) from the NHS website.

Sign up for alerts when we change our symptoms content

If you want to adapt our symptoms content for your product or service, we an can alert you each time our content changes.

This can help you make sure your content is always up to date and aligned with the messaging on the NHS website.

Expanded version

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you have any of these symptoms, get a test to check if you have coronavirus and stay at home until you get your result.

This content may be better if you have more space – for example, in an app or embedded within a web page. It provides more detail to help users understand if they have coronavirus symptoms.

How to use this content

There are several ways you can use the coronavirus content from the NHS website in your website, product or service.

API

Our coronavirus API allows you to integrate the coronavirus (COVID-19) information from the NHS website into your website, product or service.

Widget

Our coronavirus widget is a content box using NHS website styles that contains the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19) from the NHS website.

Sign up for alerts when we change our symptoms content

If you want to adapt our symptoms content for your product or service, we an can alert you each time our content changes.

This can help you make sure your content is always up to date and aligned with the messaging on the NHS website.

Conversational version

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature (feeling hot to touch on your chest or back), a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. A continuous cough means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?

If you have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible. Stay at home until you get your test result. Only leave your home to have a test. Go to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus to get a test. Do not go to places like a GP, pharmacy or hospital. Call 119 to get a test if you have problems using the internet.

This content is suited for voice assistants and chatbots. It provides the same detail as the expanded version, but with a voice-friendly structure – for example, by avoiding bullet points.

How to use this content

There are several ways you can use the coronavirus content from the NHS website in your website, product or service.

API

Our coronavirus API allows you to integrate the coronavirus (COVID-19) information from the NHS website into your website, product or service.

Widget

Our coronavirus widget is a content box using NHS website styles that contains the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19) from the NHS website.

Sign up for alerts when we change our symptoms content

If you want to adapt our symptoms content for your product or service, we an can alert you each time our content changes.

This can help you make sure your content is always up to date and aligned with the messaging on the NHS website.

Full version

See our full page on the NHS website about check if you have coronavirus symptoms.

This content is best if you have space for a full web page of content and want your users to know all the information and advice on coronavirus symptoms.

How to use this content

There are several ways you can use the coronavirus content from the NHS website in your website, product or service.

API

Our coronavirus API allows you to integrate the coronavirus (COVID-19) information from the NHS website into your website, product or service.

Widget

Our coronavirus widget is a content box using NHS website styles that contains the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19) from the NHS website.

Sign up for alerts when we change our symptoms content

If you want to adapt our symptoms content for your product or service, we an can alert you each time our content changes.

This can help you make sure your content is always up to date and aligned with the messaging on the NHS website.