What is COVID-19?
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is an upper respiratory infection that is affecting local communities on a global scale. The virus, which was initially detected in China in late 2019, has quickly spread throughout the United States, with over 400 cases confirmed in New Jersey as of March 18th. COVID-19 is a virus that hasn’t been seen before, and doctors and scientists are still learning about it from treatment to vaccination. However, learning the symptoms and ways to prevent it can help you through this time.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
The novel coronavirus exhibits many of the same symptoms of the flu at first, and should not be taken lightly. Progressed cases can lead to serious complications including pneumonia and kidney failure. If you begin to exhibit any of the following, you should contact a physician immediately for over-the-phone assessment and recommendation for testing:
- High fever
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Chest congestion
- Stomach cramps, vomiting or diarrhea
Symptoms of the coronavirus can appear between two and fourteen days after initial exposure, with most cases developing signs between five to six days after contact. However, many patients have been asymptomatic, showing no symptoms at all. Patients who are asymptomatic can still be highly contagious and spread COVID-19 to those around them. High-risk patients, including individuals over 60 years old and patients with chronic health issues or compromised immune systems including lung disease, heart disease and diabetes, may experience more severe symptoms and are more likely to develop complications as a result of the coronavirus.
Preventing the coronavirus
COVID-19 is spread through direct contact with a person, surface or object that has been infected with the virus, and New Jersey has also reported cases of community spread, which means that patients are unsure of how they came into contact with the coronavirus. There are several steps you and your family can take to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
- Wash your hands several times throughout the day, especially after using the restroom, changing a dirty diaper and before and after preparing or eating food. You should make sure you are using antibacterial soap and warm water to kill germs. If you do not have soap or water available, hand sanitizer can be used to kill germs but it is important to note that it will not be able to remove dirt or buildup from your hands.
- Avoid touching your face whenever possible, especially your eyes and mouth. Touching these areas with unwashed hands can allow the germs you have come into contact with throughout the day to enter your body which can get you sick.
- Clean the surfaces and objects you use the most at least once per day using disinfectant wipes or cleaning solutions. Germs can survive longer on surfaces than on your hands, which are more often in motion and even transferring germs from place to place, which can make them more likely to get you sick.
- Check your local health department for guidelines. New Jersey is currently practicing social distancing, avoiding unnecessary trips into the public where you can contract the virus or even spread it if you do not show symptoms. Avoid making several trips to the grocery store as often as possible, and avoid crowds. If you require medical care for an injury or occupational health, visit AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen.
Urgent Care in Aberdeen, NJ
If you are exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory infection, call our center from the parking lot before you come in. We will be able to go over your symptoms over the phone and determine if you require testing. AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen is also accepting patients with a wide variety of urgent care needs, from spring allergy treatment to occupational medicine needs. For questions, please call 732-583-5100.