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COVID-19 FAQ

March 24, 2020 — Tamara Castellano

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms include fevers, cough and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some people also have body aches, a runny nose, sore throat, congestion or diarrhea. It is possible to have the virus and not exhibit any symptoms or have mild symptoms similar to a cold or flu.

Certain age groups are at higher risk, including adults over the age of 65 and those with existing medical conditions such as a compromised immune system, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, chronic lung disease, kidney disease or diabetes. Pregnant women may also be at a higher risk because of changes that happen to their immune system during pregnancy.

How is COVID-19 spread?

While health officials continue to study the spread of the virus, there are a few different ways it seems to be spread. This includes person to person via droplets from sneezing, coughing, and close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands. The virus can also be spread by contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it, followed by touching one’s own mouth, nose, or eyes.

What should I do if I have been in contact with someone who had COVID-19?

If you’ve come into contact with someone with COVID-19, it is important to self-quarantine to avoid spreading the virus to other people. Your risk of getting the virus will depend on the type of contact you had with the individual.  You may be at higher risk if you’ve been in “close contact,” meaning being in a confined space with an individual who has the virus.

If I’m at risk, should I get tested?

Health officials are not recommending that everyone with symptoms or risk of COVID-19 exposure be tested. Due to the limited number of available tests in many states, testing may only be available to people who are at risk of developing more serious illness due to a pre-existing medical conditions or age (65 years or older). If neither of these situations apply to you, you should stay home and self-quarantine unless your symptoms become more severe.

We strongly recommend contacting your local public health department or local doctor by phone. Ask for information about resources in your area, such as drive-by testing centers or private testing options.

How is COVID-19 treated?

Coronavirus—as its name suggests—is a virus, thus it is not treated with an antibiotic. There is no specific drug or vaccination that is effective for the novel coronavirus at this time, but there are studies happening around the world to find a treatment.

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