According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a type of coronavirus that can spread from person to person and cause respiratory illness.
The majority of patients with COVID-19 experience mild to moderate respiratory illness with the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
Some patients, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions are considered to be at a higher risk of developing severe illness.
Action Steps if You’re Sick
If you suspect that you’re sick with COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.
- Stay home—Do not go outside your home, except for getting medical care. Make sure to call ahead prior to seeking care.
- Avoid public areas—Do not go to work, school or public areas outside of medical facilities.
- Avoid public transportation—Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
- Self-isolate—If you have COVID-19, you should self-isolate for as long as your doctor recommends.
- Follow treatment guidelines—The vast majority of cases of COVID-19 are mild and can be treated at home by getting enough fluids and rest, and taking any prescribed medication.
- Monitor your symptoms—If your symptoms worsen or you experience any shortness of breath, call your doctor immediately. They may recommend that you seek further treatment.
- Practice good hygiene—If you’re sick, you need to practice good hygiene, which includes:
- Covering your mouth or nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Disposing of used tissues in a trash can
- Washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after you cough or sneeze and frequently throughout the day
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Try to keep 6 feet of distance between you and an ill loved one.
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, utensils, towels or bedding with others in your home. Be sure to wash these items with soap and water after each use.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces like countertops, tabletops, doorknobs, faucets, toilets, phones, tablets and remotes frequently.