Despite all the sanitizing, social distancing, hand washing, and trying not to touch your face, you've come down with a fever and cough. Chances are you have a viral infection. It could be the flu, sinusitis or the illness everyone on the planet is talking about: the novel coronavirus. Now what?
As SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—is highly contagious and has touched almost every pocket of the United States, go on the assumption that you're at the beginning stages of this illness. But the good news, according to the World Health Organization, is that most people (about 80 percent) with COVID-19 will suffer only a mild case and will recover without medical treatment. The exceptions, of course, are the elderly and those who have an existing condition that leaves them more susceptible to respiratory distress.
At the same time, COVID-19 is nothing to sneeze at, even for young people who are otherwise healthy. Here's some advice for those who suspect they have the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends certain populations seek immediate medical care at the first sign of symptoms. These groups include the elderly and anyone with diabetes, lung or heart disease, or a compromised immune system. But for most everyone else, home rest is sufficient. Take these steps to protect yourself and others in your home if you're caring for a person who might have COVID-19.
COVID-19, like all things, will pass eventually. The big unknown is when. By properly taking care of yourself and others, you'll play an important role in flattening the curve and beating this virus.