As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread widely across the United States, citizens need to remain educated about the disease and what to do if you or someone you know contracts it.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms are similar to the those of other respiratory illnesses. The World Health Organization says there is a one to 14-day period from when you catch the virus and when you begin to show systems. It is most commonly around five days.
Symptoms range from mild to severe, usually the latter in people with weakened immune systems, like the elderly or people with underlying conditions. An infected person could also be asymptomatic. However, it is unlikely that you will catch it from someone with no symptoms.
In severe cases of COVID-19, patients can get pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and can even die.
According to the CDC, coronavirus spreads from close contact person-to-person, usually within six feet. If someone coughs or sneezes near you, the respiratory droplets could cause you to be infected.
COVID-19 also lives on surfaces, which is why people should avoid touching their nose, mouth, or eyes after touching objects. Further, there is no evidence that you can get it from food or packages from affected areas.
Maintaining a safe distance from people during the COVID-19 pandemic also applies to your pets. While dogs and cats cannot pass on the virus, the owners can pass it to them, and pets can test positive for low levels of it.
While there is currently no vaccine, there is a test for coronavirus. The test consists of taking samples from your nose, throat or lungs. It is currently allowed to be used at any CDC-approved lab in the U.S.