One of the top current news stories is the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This is a new strain of virus that presents with flu-like symptoms and is quickly making its way worldwide, with nearly 100 cases reported in New Jersey alone. Much is still unknown about the virus, but learning the symptoms and ways to prevent it are critical to reducing the spread and potential exposure until a vaccination and cure are found.
What is COVID-19? What are its symptoms?
COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus, which is an upper respiratory infection. While certain common coronaviruses like the cold and flu can be quickly and easily treated, COVID-19 is more serious, with no known vaccination. The virus is spread through contact with infected surfaces and people. Symptoms may include:
- Dry cough that will not go away
- Shortness of breath
- High fever
- Chest and nasal congestion
- Stomach cramps
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Sore throat
The coronavirus is believed to have an incubation period of two to fourteen days, during which you may begin to exhibit symptoms, or may not experience any at all. Even if you do not exhibit symptoms, you may still carry the virus and be highly contagious. Patients who are considered high-risk for COVID-19 are older adults (60+) or people with chronic health conditions including heart or lung disease, diabetes or cancer.
The coronavirus is spread through direct contact with an infected surface or person. In order to prevent transmission through contact or community spread, you should follow these steps:
- You should be washing your hands regularly throughout the day for at least 20 seconds with antibacterial soap and hot water. While you should wash your hands in between things, you should take special care to wash them after using the restroom or changing a diaper, before and after preparing food and before eating to kill germs.
- Avoid touching your face, especially with unwashed hands. Touching your eyes and mouth can lead to germs spreading throughout your body, allowing you to get sick.
- Wipe down your surfaces at least once a day with disinfectant wipes, including electronic devices with safe cleaning agents. Viruses can live for longer periods of time on surfaces than on your hands, and can be quickly transmitted from hands to surfaces.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you need to sneeze or cough with a tissue or the crook of your elbow.
- Follow local, state and federal guidelines. Current practice is social distancing, avoiding unnecessary trips to stores and social gatherings. Events of over 50 are currently banned by law until further notice. More information about how local governments are handling COVID-19 are available on state websites.
Urgent Care in South Plainfield, NJ
If you are beginning to exhibit flu-like symptoms, visit AFC Urgent Care South Plainfield and call the center from your car. We will be able to assess your symptoms and determine if you should visit a testing facility before you enter the center. We are able to treat a wide range of general illnesses, including spring allergies, and injuries. For questions, please call 908-222-3500.