What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China in December 2019. Since then it has spread across the globe and is now affecting communities all across the United States. Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The outbreak is beginning to slow in some areas, but with new hot spots emerging people in many communities must remain cautious.
What is the risk to me and my family?
Most cases are mild and for most of the American public the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is low. Older adults and people of any age who have serious pre-existing conditions are more vulnerable to severe illness, including illness resulting in death.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath, and usually appear 2-14 days after exposure. Occasionally the symptoms are more severe and may even require hospitalization.
What should I do if I think I may have COVID-19?
You should isolate yourself at home while you are sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). SwiftMD doctors can assess your symptoms, answer questions you may have about the disease, and provide supportive care for symptoms such as mild fever, cough or sore throat. For most patients, the illness will be mild and our doctors recommend that patients with minor symptoms stay home to recover rather than go in to be tested. For a definitive diagnosis or test, you will need to contact your PCP's office to arrange for testing through your local health department, LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics. You should seek medical care in person if your symptoms worsen, such as high fever, weakness, lethargy or shortness of breath. Call ahead to let your healthcare provider know that you may have COVID-19 so they can take steps to prevent others from getting exposed or affected.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus spreads from person-to-person through close contact, coughing and sneezing. People may also get COVID-19 by touching something that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. The virus is contagious and seems to be spreading easily.
How do I protect myself and my family members?
- Stay home when you are sick and avoid contact with those who show signs of illness.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. Facemasks are not effective for healthy people trying to protect against COVID-19 but should be used by people who have symptoms to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
How is COVID-19 Treated?
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.