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Basics & Avoidance Tips

You’re hearing a lot about this, everywhere. Below you’ll find what we believe are the most important things to know, to do, and to be prepared for. Knowledge really is safety.

The basics

  • It produces upper respiratory flu-like symptoms — fever, cough, shortness of breath.
  • It spreads easily from person-to-person via coughing or sneezing.
  • Older adults and people with chronic lung or heart conditions or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for serious complications.
  • There is currently no vaccine, and one isn’t expected for 12-18 months.

*The World Health Organization has named the disease caused by the virus COVID-19: “CO” stands for corona, “VI” for virus, “D” stands for disease, and “19” for the year it emerged.

What are the symptoms of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19?

Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure, and include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

Do I have coronavirus symptoms?

Take the AHN COVID-19 Symptom Checker to check Coronavirus symptoms and get advice on whether it's time to seek medical care, self-isolate, or continue practicing social distancing. If you are having an emergency, CALL 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

Are testing kits available in my local market? If not when will they be available?

COVID-19 testing kits are in limited supply and this issue is being addressed by federal, state, and local officials across the nation.

Is there a treatment?

There is no antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People diagnosed with COVID-19 will be provided with care to help relieve symptoms.

How do I get tested?

Contact your doctor, health care provider, or local county health department. They will use CDC guidelines to determine if testing is warranted.

Where can I get tested?

Contact your primary care physician for testing options.

More Coronavirus Testing Information

What kind of doctor do I go see to get tested?

Your primary care physician will be able to help you. If you don't have one, visit Find a Doctor for help in finding a doctor near you.

More Coronavirus Testing Information

Is COVID-19 a pandemic?

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) publicly characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.

What are the symptoms vs. the flu?

See the CDC quick tip sheet.

What if I'm high risk?

Who is most susceptible to COVID-19?

The CDC has not yet identified any factors that would increase an individual's risk of acquiring COVID-19. However, the very young and elderly, pregnant woman, or people with compromised immunity (i.e., recent surgeries, cancer, etc.) are at higher risk of complications if infected with COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. Early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness.

I am pregnant, am I more susceptible?

We do not yet know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and viral respiratory infections such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness.

More Pregnancy and Coronavirus Information

I'm delivering my child at an AHN L&D soon. Should I be scared?

Your OBGYN and hospital will be able to help you understand the precautions they are taking. Sick patients will be separated into different sections of the hospital.

More Pregnancy and Coronavirus Information

I have a chronic condition; what do I do if I get the virus?

Your primary care physician will be able to help you. If you don't have one, visit Find a Doctor for help in finding a doctor near you.

What about my children?

I have small children. Are they more susceptible to contracting?

There is no evidence showing children are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. The majority of known cases have been in adults.

Do children need to wear face masks?

The CDC recommends that any child over 2 years old should wear a mask in public or within 6 feet of others. Child face mask tips and tricks.

How is AHN responding?

How are hospitals containing ill patients?

Hospitals are prepared to quarantine ill patients and are taking precautions during admission. It is crucial that you call ahead before visiting a hospital, emergency room, or other care facility so they can prepare for your arrival.

What precautions are in place for women in labor in the hospital?

Visitor limitations are in place. Please check with your local hospital.

More Pregnancy and Coronavirus Information

 

How to protect yourself

Do I need to purchase face masks?

No, the CDC recommends making face masks from household items. Simple cloth face coverings help slow the spread of the virus, especially in community settings. Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be saved for health care workers or first responders.

When will a vaccine be available?

Estimates range between 6-18 months. No vaccine is currently available.

Should I wear a mask?

Yes, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face mask in public settings where other social distancing measures are hard to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and other public areas. We now know from recent studies that many people with Coronavirus can transmit the virus to others even if they don’t have symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting closely — for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not showing symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings.

How do I make a mask at home?

To learn how to make a mask with household items, visit the CDC guide here

Do I still need to stay 6 feet away when wearing a mask?

Yes, you should still practice social distancing and wash your hands when wearing a face mask. A cloth face mask helps prevent you from spreading the virus, but isn’t designed to protect you from others.

What are the symptoms vs. the flu?

See the CDC quick tip sheet.

What about travel?

I travel for work, when should I cancel it?

Contact your employer’s Human Resources department for guidelines. CDC recommends avoiding all non-critical travel.

I am pregnant; should I still travel?

The CDC recommends avoiding all non-critical travel.

I travel frequently for work or personal reasons. How can I protect myself?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Do I need to let my PCP know I'm infected when I am traveling?

The CDC recommends avoiding all non-essential travel. If you have symptoms or think you may have been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19, contact your primary care doctor immediately.

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