An influx of information around the current strain of coronavirus, called COVID-19, might prompt some questions about what it is and whether you are at risk. For those concerned about symptoms and whether you should be tested for COVID-19, we are here to provide you with answers.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a new respiratory disease thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
Who is at risk for COVID-19?
Those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have been in close contact with a confirmed or symptomatic patient, or those who have been to areas with sustained transmission.
What should I do if I get a fever or mild symptoms?
If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or congestion or if you have travelled to an area affected by the current strain of coronavirus you should consider seeking medical advice. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.
What should I do if I develop shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or more significant symptoms?
Call your physician or seek medical care immediately.
Why am I not being tested for COVID-19?
Patients without symptoms or with mild to moderate symptoms will likely not be tested for the virus. A positive test does not change the course of the illness. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill should self- isolate, do social distancing and care for themselves at home.
You may not be tested for COVID-19 because you do not meet the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, the CDC advises that clinicians should determine whether to order a test based on specific criteria. COVID-19 tests are not intended to be an assessment of your risk, but rather to confirm cases in symptomatic patients. If you are worried but don’t have symptoms, please stay home. Going to a doctor’s office or hospital adds to a higher concentration of people and further overwhelms the medical staff.
Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
The CDC has a robust website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. The CDC also houses responses to commonly asked questions on their website.