As a medical resource company, we want you to know that we care deeply about your safety, whether you are at home, at a clinic, at work, or traveling.
Coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, often presents as just a typical cold or flu but COVID-19 can progress and develop into a much more serious illness. The symptoms tend to show up anywhere between 2 and 11 days after exposure, but can possibly show up as late as 14 days. The following are the usual symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
The COVID-19 illness may start with a sore throat that then quickly moves into the chest and becomes a dry cough with fever and shortness of breath. If you develop a runny nose, a sinus congestion and a headache, these are not the typical symptoms of COVID-19.
Some individuals who contract COVID - 19 do not have significant symptoms nor a life-threatening illness. However, if you develop a fever and dry cough which progresses to shortness of breath, a feeling of pressure and tightness in the chest, or bluish lips, you may be in the group of patients who are developing the much more serious COVID-19 illness and you should seek immediate medical attention. A change in mental status or dizziness and confusion may also be a sign of the more serious infection.
Many of our patients and customers, or their family members, fit into the “high risk” category for any infection but are especially at risk for COVID-19 in this time of a pandemic. You may also be at risk for other common flu and cold viruses and we want to provide you with information to help you to minimize your risk and to maximize your protection during this time of uncertainty.
Medical experts believe that the virus is spread from person to person. This usually occurs between people who are in close contact with one another, within about 6 feet. Even though the cough from a COVID-19 infection tends to be dry, fine infective droplets are still produced by coughing and sneezing.. The droplets can either land on the mouth or nose of people nearby, or they can possibly be inhaled into the lungs, or the droplets can land on other surfaces that are then touched by or picked up by nearby people.
How to best protect yourself.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, before and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not immediately available, use a hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol and cover all the surfaces of your hands, rubbing them together until the sanitizer dries. It is important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- It is very important to avoid close contact with people who are sick. If illness is active in your community, it is important for people at high risk of getting ill, to put distance between themselves and other people. The recommended distance is six or more feet.
- Avoid congested locations, groups, and meetings where physical contact would be unavoidable.
- Wear a N95 mask when it is unavoidable to be in contact with someone who could be exhibiting symptoms of infection.
- Regularly clean the hard surfaces in your home or office with bleach or rubbing alcohol-based products. This should include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks and especially your cell phone.
- Wear protective gear such as nitrile disposable gloves if you will be exposed to any potential risk. A good tip from medical professionals is to use sanitizer and clean the gloves prior to removing them to avoid transferring germs to your hands during the glove removal process.
- High-risk individuals are those with diabetes, patients undergoing chemotherapy, postoperative surgery patients with drains, and others with chronic serious illnesses and even many who are over 60 years of age. High-risk patients should consider wearing anti-microbial clothing to cover IV access sites, ports, drains and PICC lines. Wearing a certified antimicrobial undershirt may add an extra layer of protection from a range of infections.
What should you do if you feel sick? The CDC recommends the following steps:
- Stay home except to get medical care. Restricted activities outside your home, do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation at any time.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. As much as possible stay in a specific room or away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom if available and clean high touch services every day with a disinfectant. It is also essential to clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol. It is not yet certain if you can pass this illness onto your pets but, if possible, have someone else in your circle of friends or family care for your pets while you are ill.
- Wear a facemask. Whenever you are around other people, such as sharing a room or vehicle, and before you enter your healthcare provider's office, you should wear a facemask.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Immediately throw use tissues in a lined trashcan and then wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid sharing personal household items. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups or any utensils. In addition, try not to share towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. Use disposable items as much as possible but after using reusable items they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- Monitor your symptoms. If you are worsening, or if you have increasing shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have the coronavirus. Put on a face mask before you enter any offices or healthcare facilities.
- Discontinuing home isolation. You should remain under Home isolation precautions until the risk of transmission to others is thought to be low. Once you are feeling well please consult with your healthcare provider or your local health department to determine when you should break self-quarantine.