Your Covid-19 questions answered

I’m not sure if I have Covid-19, should I stay home or can I go out?

12 January 2022 - 07:00
If you suspect you might have Covid-19, the NICD recommends staying home and seeking medical help: 'Everything is Covid-19 until proven otherwise.'
If you suspect you might have Covid-19, the NICD recommends staying home and seeking medical help: 'Everything is Covid-19 until proven otherwise.'
Image: 123RF/Diego Vito Cervo

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) recommends staying home if you’re unwell and suspect you may have a common cold or Covid-19.

This will help reduce the chances of infecting others who might be severely ill, if you are infected with Covid-19.

The institute says the dominant variant, Omicron, may make it harder to tell.

With Omicron, it may be harder to tell if you have Covid-19, the common cold or flu. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if you have minor cold-like symptoms, it is important to stay home because you can spread it to people who can get severely ill,” said the NICD. 

Dr Marlin McKay told TimesLIVE people wondering whether they have flu or Covid-19 should isolate and get medical treatment.

“Missing a Covid-19 diagnosis can be devastating on families, because they could go about thinking they have flu. My policy is everything is Covid-19 until proven otherwise.

“If you miss a flu diagnosis it is not too bad, but if you miss a Covid-19 diagnosis it can be catastrophic. If that person goes out and infects someone with comorbidities, they could die. I test anyone with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19.”

SA has more than 144,000 active Covid-19 cases and there have been 92,500 deaths from Covid-19 related complications since the start of the pandemic. 

The Omicron variant is driving the majority of infections in the fourth wave, but the institute’s acting executive director Prof Adrian Puren said it could be over in a few days. 

“We hope that, overall, the trajectory will still be downwards and that will be indicated by the number of new infections vs hospitalisations and deaths. 

“I think that particular picture is promising and that will continue so that we move out of this fourth resurgence,” Puren told Jacaranda FM.



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