There has been a large amount of information circulating, with varying degrees of accuracy, with the potential of both putting lives at risk and wasting resources unnecessarily.
We hope this information from the Centers for Disease Control helps, and although the information presented here is fairly comprehensive, there is a wealth of information available on the CDC's COVID-19 website.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take heart that while you're scrubbing, you're also killing off a host of other nasty bacteria and potentially lethal viruses that have plagued humans for centuries -- including influenza and a number of different coronaviruses. Shuttertstock
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Watch for symptoms
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).
- Shortness of breath
Monitor your symptoms
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and cough. Trouble breathing is a more serious symptom that means you should get medical attention.
If you are having trouble breathing, seek medical attention, but call first.
Call your doctor or emergency room before going in and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.
Wear a facemask: If available, put on a facemask before you enter the building. If you can’t put on a facemask, cover your coughs and sneezes. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people in the office or waiting room.
Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department: Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
A close up of a test kit for testing for the coronavirus, Covid-19 is seen at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts on March 18, 2020. Across the United States, physicians are relaying the message: Not everyone who wants a test will get a test. Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images