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:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia

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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Coronavirus: Differences between flu and allergies
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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

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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.

Transmission

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.

RELATED: Maryland coronavirus update: Public schools will be closed, community transmission reported

Prevention

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.

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Treatment

People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care. There is no specific antiviral treatment for this illness.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources:

Other Resources:

WHO Coronavirus Website

Check the current status of the virus in your state with the state health department website below:

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