WASHINGTON — As the global pandemic spreads across the country, and the DMV specifically, know the symptoms of the coronavirus and how they differ from the flu and allergies.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection include:
- Shortness of breath
While the exact incubation period for this coronavirus has not yet been determined, it is believed that most infected people will develop symptoms 2-14 days after they were exposed.
D.C. Health officials say that if you feel that you may have coronavirus and need to go to a health care provider, that you should contact the health care provider beforehand so they can be prepared to handle your arrival safely.
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What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms?
If you are sick or suspect you are infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking the followings steps:
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Avoid public areas, including work or school
- Avoid public transportation
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
The CDC also says you should call ahead before visiting your doctor, and to wear a facemask if you are sick around other people or pets.
Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by COVID-19 in Wuhan, China had some link to large seafood and live animal markets, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, person-to-person spread is now widely occurring.
There is no vaccine available for COVID-19. In general, people can protect themselves and others against respiratory viruses by taking the following precautions:
- Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap & water.
- Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice good health habits.
People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care. There is no specific antiviral treatment for this illness.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources:
- CDC Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Website
- CDC Flowchart to Identify and Assess COVID-19
- CDC Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet
- CDC Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals
- CDC Interim Guidance for Infection Control
- CDC Information for Laboratories
Check the current status of the virus in your state with the state health department website below: