Home Page

Advice from Public Health: "It's a cough, but is it a 'COUGH' cough?"

Dear Parents/Carers


As you will be aware, the Merseyside area has higher rates of Coronavirus than other parts of England, which is why additional restrictions have been brought in.


We know how important it is for your children to keep coming to school, but also how difficult it is to tell whether they’ve got a simple cold/sniffle or Coronavirus symptoms.


As you know, the main symptoms 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


We have received some information that may help you work out whether you child’s cough is Coronavirus or something else – then again, it may just muddy the waters further…

This is the advice we received from Public Health Sefton:


A cough is one of the three core symptoms of Coronavirus, but specifically a new, continuous cough, i.e.

  1. coughing a lot for more than an hour, or
  2. 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours,
  3. (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual) 
    Although it could be a cold, a new, continuous cough (abc) could also be Coronavirus. If a child has developed a new continuous cough as above, parents should inform school and the advice to reinforce to parents is:
  • Keep everyone in the household at home and only leave home to have a test
  • Get a test to check if the child has Coronavirus as soon as possible – keep school updated
  • Carry on isolating until the test result comes back. The result will come with advice on what to do next

There is clear information for parents on Coronavirus symptoms
The new NHS Covid-19 app also has a symptom check function.

I hope this is some help to you,
Kind regards
KD Williams