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How to Stay Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic

What You Need to Know About COVID-19

Although there are hundreds of different types of coronaviruses, very few of them cause people to get sick. Of the seven coronaviruses that can make people ill, more than half cause mild illness. The remaining three cause SARS, MERS and the new COVID-19. As of March 11, 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 has been classified as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the virus continues to spread across Florida and the U.S., here's what you need to know to protect yourself and to get help and treatment if necessary.

How Do People Get COVID-19?

COVID-19 spreads from person to person. The virus spreads through droplets. If someone infected with the virus coughs or sneezes and is close to another person (within 6 feet), it's possible for the virus to spread from one person to the next through the cough or sneeze.

The virus can also spread through contact with surfaces that have the virus on them. For example, if an infected person sneezes or coughs into their hand, then uses their hand to open a door, the next person to touch the door can come into contact with the virus.

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

Three major symptoms are associated with COVID-19. The symptoms might appear anywhere from a couple of days to two weeks after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough

A person might have COVID-19 and not have any visible symptoms. It's possible for asymptomatic, infected people to spread the disease.

If you are showing any of the above symptoms and think you might have COVID-19, stay home. You can call your healthcare provider to describe your symptoms to them, but don't go into the office or to the emergency department unless told to do so. Staying home will help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

Depending on your specific case, your healthcare provider might recommend that you get tested for coronavirus. Follow any instructions your healthcare provider gives you about the test. Only go in for testing if you are told to do so.

How Is COVID-19 Treated?

As of April 2020, there is no specific treatment or medication for COVID-19. People are who have mild symptoms will most likely be told to stay home and practice self-care measures, such as resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and using humidifiers.

If someone has very severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing, they may be admitted to a hospital and given care and treatment there.