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COVID-19


 

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 stands for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. 

 

Transmission

Generally, people spread the virus to others through respiratory droplets. You can help prevent the spread and lower the chances of getting infected by practicing good health habits such as washing your hands with soap and water, staying away from people you know are sick, and getting the COVID-19 vaccination. Individuals who are vaccinated are much less likely to get seriously ill with COVID-19. If you have COVID-19, you should self-isolate and quarantine per the CDC guidelines.

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms usually start 4 or 5 days after a person is infected with the virus. But in some people, it can take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to appear. Some people never show symptoms at all. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea
  • Some people have rashes or other skin problems

Most people have mild cold symptoms which will improve within a few days to weeks. A small number of people get very sick and may need to be hospitalized. Some people continue to have symptoms for weeks or months. 

 

How is COVID-19 treated?

Most people with mild COVID-19 can rest at home until they get better. “Mild” means you might have symptoms like fever, cough, or other cold symptoms, but you do not have trouble breathing.

What you can do at home: 

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Manage fever and pain with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Do not smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Try over-the-counter cough or cold medicine. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • A humidifier may help alleviate cough

Doctors recommend treatment with an “antiviral” called nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (brand name: Paxlovid) for people who are at high risk for getting seriously ill, even if their symptoms are mild. This includes: 

    • Adults 65 years or older
    • Adults who have certain health conditions – examples include a weakened immune system, diabetes, heart or lung disease, chronic kidney disease, and obesity

You will need to speak with your doctor before starting this treatment.

 

Precautions

Depending on your age, health problems, and whether you have been vaccinated, some people are at higher risk of COVID-19 leading to serious problems like pneumonia. Some people will need to be hospitalized so they can be monitored and receive treatments such as extra oxygen, steroids, or medicine to prevent blood clots. 

 

Make sure to contact your doctor and notify them of your health condition

 

Call 9-1-1 anytime if you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

      • You have severe trouble breathing
      • You have constant chest pain or pressure
      • You are severely dizzy or lightheaded
      • You are confused or can’t think clearly
      • You have pale, gray, or blue-colored skin or lips
      • You pass out or are very hard to wake up
      • You have weakness or drooping on one side of the face
      • You have weakness or numbness in an arm or a leg
      • You have a severe headache
      • You have a seizure

 

You can learn more about COVID-19 by visiting the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

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