How to Identify Coronavirus

You might be worried about the coronavirus because a recent outbreak is making headlines. Coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause conditions like the common cold, MERS, SARS, and other respiratory illnesses. Additionally, in January 2020, Chinese health authorities confirmed the outbreak of a new form of coronavirus that’s causing serious complications like pneumonia. If you suspect you have coronavirus, it’s essential that you stay home so you don’t risk infecting others. While there are no medications for coronavirus, you can treat your symptoms to help you feel a bit better.

Check for respiratory symptoms such as a cough and runny nose. Since coronavirus is a respiratory infection, cough and runny nose are the most common symptoms. You may have a cough with or without mucus. Call your doctor if you think your cough and runny nose might be caused by coronavirus.
Cough and runny nose could also be symptoms of allergies or a different respiratory infection, so try not to worry. Your doctor will help you figure out what's wrong.
Consider if you’ve been around someone who was sick. If so, you’re more likely to have contracted an illness.
Do your best to avoid being around people who have decreased immune systems or have high risks for complications, such as those over 65 years old, newborns and children, pregnant women, and those who are on immunosuppressants.
Management and treatment of coronavirus is only supportive care since it’s a viral infection that doesn’t respond to antibiotics. If you experience severe respiratory problems, go to an emergency room to get treated immediately.


Did You Know? Certain strains of coronavirus are limited to a particular area of the world, so try not to worry if your area has no confirmed cases of a serious strain of coronavirus. As of January 2020, only people who reside in or have traveled to China are likely to encounter the new strain of coronavirus that's being reported in the news, though there are reported cases in Thailand, Japan, Canada, and South Korea. There has also been a confirmed case in the United States in Washington state from a traveler who came back from China.


2. Notice if you have a sore throat along with your cough. Coronavirus also causes sore throat, so this can be a sign of an infection. Typically, sore throat appears early in a coronavirus infection and isn’t caused by frequent coughing, so consider when your sore throat began to see if it might be caused by coronavirus.
You may be able to soothe your sore throat with a hot tea or throat lozenges.


3. Rest if you’re having a headache, body aches, or general fatigue. Similar to other respiratory infections, coronavirus may cause a headache, body aches, and fatigue. Generally, you just won’t feel well. These symptoms could be a sign of coronavirus if you also have other respiratory illness symptoms.
Your doctor will have to determine which virus could be causing your symptoms. While it could be coronavirus, you may have a different type of infection, such as the common cold or the flu.



4. Take your temperature to see if you have a fever. Since fever is a common symptom of coronavirus, always check your temperature if you're worried you contracted the virus. A fever over 100.4 °F (38.0 °C) could be a sign that you have coronavirus or another infection. If you have a fever, call your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
If you have a fever, you’re likely contagious, so avoid contact with other people.



5. Watch for breathing problems or shortness of breath. Coronavirus can cause trouble breathing, which is always a serious symptom. Contact your doctor immediately or get emergency medical care if you’re having difficulty breathing. You may have a serious infection, such as coronavirus.
You may need additional treatments for breathing problems, so always consult your doctor for shortness of breath.


Tip: The 2020 coronavirus outbreak that began in China is causing pneumonia in some patients, so don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you’re having breathing issues.

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