The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including:
- fever or chills
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- muscle or body aches
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting, and
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or who thinks they have been exposed to the virus via travel or contact with others should call their health care provider to talk with a medical professional as soon as possible.
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Everyday preventive actions help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:
- Whether indoors or outdoors, practice physical distancing by keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others whenever possible.
- Wear your face covering.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, do so in a disposable tissue or your bended elbow.
- If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that’s at least 70% alcohol.
- Frequently clean high-touch surfaces within your area, like your desk and office doorknob using the supplied materials.
- Try to use your elbow on high-touch public surfaces, like elevator buttons or push-open doors.
- Limit the time you spend with others in small spaces like bathrooms and elevators.
People Who Are at Increased Risk
The CDC identifies older adults and people with underlying medical conditions as being at higher risk for becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19. Some of these underlying medical conditions include:
- Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners)
- Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because of kidney disease or is under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis
- Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis) Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because of liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.
- Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS)
- Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks
- Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus)
- Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
- Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
- Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen
- Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy or spinal cord injury].
The CDC maintains a complete, up-to-date list and guidance for these individuals.