What is the coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, is an infection affecting your upper respiratory system. The virus is new, and doctors worldwide are working to learn more about it each day. The coronavirus has quickly made its way worldwide, with over 250 confirmed cases in Pennsylvania as of March 20th. Making sure you are aware of the symptoms can help you know when you should contact your physician or visit a local testing center.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The novel coronavirus exhibits many of the same symptoms as other upper respiratory infections, including the common cold and influenza. If you begin to exhibit any symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, you should contact a physician immediately to determine if you should be tested for the novel coronavirus. Symptoms may include:
- Dry cough
- High fever
- Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
- Sore throat
The coronavirus is spread through direct contact with an object or person infected with COVID-19 as well as through community spread. High-risk patients are senior citizens or patients with compromised immune systems due to lung disease, heart disease or diabetes. Symptoms may appear between two and fourteen days from exposure, but many patients may not display any signs of being sick.
How can I prevent contracting the coronavirus?
There are several ways you can prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands several times throughout the day, even if you’re not sure if you have to. Take special care to wash your hands after using the bathroom and before and after handling food or eating. Use antibacterial soap and warm water to kill germs. While hand sanitizer can be used between washing your hands, it will not be able to break down any buildup on your hands and should not be used as an alternative.
- Wipe down your most used objects at least once a day, including your desk, laptop, keyboard, cell phone, credit cards and food prep areas. Use antibacterial or disinfectant wipes to kill germs, and make sure what you are using is safe for electronics.
- Avoid touching your eyes and mouth whenever possible to stop the spread of germs through your body.
- Keep checking local and state guidelines, which are changing often. Currently Pennsylvania is practicing social distancing: avoiding crowds, unnecessary trips in public excluding grocery stores, pharmacies and medical clinics. By staying home as much as possible, you will be helping to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus until a cure and vaccination are found.
Walk-In Urgent Care in Cheltenham, Cedarbrook, West Oak Lane & Cheltenham, PA
If you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, call AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham prior to visiting our center. Our nurses will be able to assess your symptoms before determining if you should be tested. AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham is open seven days a week and accepting walk-in patients for a wide array of urgent care concerns, including injuries, spring allergies and occupational medicine. For questions, please call 267-436-0322.