At Compu-Med Vocational Schools, we understand the fear and uncertainty surround the coronavirus. As a healthcare school in the community, we want to make sure we are doing our part to help share the facts.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, a pandemic. The new disease was first identified in Wuhan, China, where it spread rapidly, and has since reached many other countries. It is important to know the facts about this novel coronavirus. Below we provide the current known answers to common questions regarding COVID-19.
What is the novel coronavirus?
While many other coronaviruses, like the common cold, are already in circulation, this disease is called novel because it is the first time it has been identified. It is referred to as COVID-19 as well, which means coronavirus disease 2019.
What are symptoms of the novel coronavirus?
Symptoms for COVID-19 include the following:
- Shortness of breath
People who become infected with the novel coronavirus may only experience mild symptoms but others may have more severe symptoms that require hospital care.
Emergency warning signs of the coronavirus require immediate medical attention. Call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know are experiencing these symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing or inability to catch your breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in your chest
- Signs of confusion or inability to wake up
- Lips or face that are bluish
What should I do if I’m experiencing symptoms, or think I might have been exposed?
Self-isolate to prevent spreading the coronavirus to others. You should also separate yourself as much as possible from other people who live with you. This is to limit their exposure to the virus.
Call your medical provider for further advice. You should not go to the doctor without calling them ahead of time. They will need to prepare for your arrival if they think you should be seen in person. When you go to the doctor, wear a facemask. Ask your doctor to also alert the local or state health department of your potential or confirmed coronavirus infection.
Cover your cough and sneezes. Because the coronavirus spreads from water droplets of an infected person, covering your cough and sneezes prevents the droplets from spreading in the air. Use a tissue, not your hands. Then toss the used tissues in a wastebasket that has a trash bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
Clean all high-touch surfaces with disinfectants. You can use disinfectant wipes or other household cleaners but follow all label instructions. Some items, like your glasses or dishes, can be washed in soap and water.
Wash your hands in soap and water. You can also use hand sanitizer if you are unable to access soap and water. Avoid touching your face when your hands have not been recently washed.
How can I avoid getting sick?
To reduce your exposure to the coronavirus and the potential risk of infection, you should practice good respiratory and hand hygiene. Avoid people who are sick (or at least maintain a distance of 3 feet from them).
COVID-19 spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets that can be dispersed in the air from coughs and sneezes or that land on surfaces. Face masks are only necessary if you are sick or taking care of someone who is sick.
Should I get tested?
Call your medical provider for instructions. Only a doctor or the health department can order a coronavirus test for an individual.