What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Author: Tim Bireley

What You Need to Know About Coronavirus

Have you wondered what the symptoms are of the coronavirus? You’re not alone! It seems COVID-19 is all we’ve heard about for the last three months each time you turn on the TV or listen to the news. It’s important to know what to look for, who is more vulnerable, and what to do if symptoms appear.

The coronavirus symptoms usually appear anywhere from 48 hours to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. Not all symptoms in all cases are severe, but here are the main symptoms to look for:

  • Dry Cough
  • Fever
  • Chest tightness or shortness of breath

How do I protect myself and those around me?
We have been in the throes of a global pandemic as a result of this virus for the last three months. In that time, the Center for Disease Control and other health professionals have recommended the following to stay safe:

  • Stay away from people who are sick, no matter what their illness is.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice social distancing by staying home to slow the spread of the disease.
  • Keep a 6-foot distance between you and other people if you do go out.
  • Always cover your cough by using a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Wash your hands frequently! Good hand hygiene is critical.
  • Use soap and water to wash hands, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer for 20 seconds.
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces frequently that are touched on a regular basis.

What should I do if I develop a fever or other symptoms?
If you develop symptoms such as severe congestion, sore throat, or fever, seeking medical advice is important, especially if you are elderly, or living with those who may be more compromised. While the treatment for COVID-19 is limited, there are newer medicines that are becoming effective in the war on the virus.

If you are mildly ill with symptoms, it’s best to avoid contact with others and isolate at home. Quarantine should last at least 14 days if you think you have been exposed. The main symptom that should make you seek medical treatment would be severe shortness of breath.

If I develop shortness of breath or a high fever, what should I do?
First, call your doctor immediately or get to the nearest emergency room. If you are having trouble breathing, that is a sign you should seek medical help.

When would I be tested for COVID-19?
Since a positive test doesn’t change the course of the virus, those with no symptoms or mild symptoms will likely not be tested. The best course of action is to self-isolate unless you are having difficulty breathing. Remember, slowing the spread of the disease must happen through social distancing! There is no cure at this time for COVID-19, although more treatment options are giving us hope.

Currently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has established criteria before a person will be tested for the virus. Remember, they are concerned with testing those who are symptomatic in order to confirm cases, not testing people based on their risk. If you are worried about contracting the virus, please STAY HOME! Going to the hospital or doctor’s office puts people in closer contact with each other and overwhelms medical staff who are also at risk.

How do I learn more about COVID-19?
The CDC has a very informative website at www.cdc.gov/covid19.

Please remember that isolating at home is the best course of action if you are not sick. If your symptoms are mild and can be managed at home, most people will get well. If you or your loved one has other medical issues that could complicate symptoms of COVID-19, speak with the treating physician to develop a plan should symptoms occur. Do all you can to avoid the public until this pandemic crisis has passed. We are approaching the peak and should begin to see the numbers start decreasing soon, so please stay aware, stay home, and stay vigilant!

Contact us today for more information on COVID-19.

Home Helpers of Greater Milwaukee is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, 24-hour live-in care, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in Mequon, Milwaukee, Fox Point, Bayside, River Hills, Whitefish Bay, Cedarburg, Germantown, Grafton, Menomonee Falls, Brown Deer, Port Washington, Wauwatosa, Sussex, West Allis, Butler, Greendale, Hales Corners, Saukville, Slinger, Brookfield, Elm Grove, Greenfield, New Berlin, Shorewood, Waukesha, and Thiensville, Wisconsin.

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This blog provides general information and discussions about medicine, health, and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare workers.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

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