A new coronavirus known as COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019 continues to spread, with a growing number of cases identified in countries worldwide including all 50 U.S. states.
COVID-19 | What You Should Know
Signs and Symptoms
Most people who get sick with COVID-19 will develop mild to moderate respiratory symptoms. However, people who are more susceptible to infection may develop more severe disease. The most common symptoms include fever, tiredness, dry cough, and difficulty breathing. Some patients may also have aches and pains, runny nose, nasal congestions, sore throat or diarrhea. The symptoms are very similar to the seasonal flu virus. Symptoms have appeared anywhere from two to 14 days after contact with the virus. Unlike the flu, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications yet approved to treat it. If you experience these symptoms, contact a health care provider to determine the cause of your sickness as soon as possible and avoid contact with others.
If You Live With Lung Disease
Those who live with lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer, while not more likely to get the COVID-19 virus, are at greater risk of serious illness if infected. It is important for these groups to take special precautions to reduce the risk of infection. Since developments are fast-breaking, continue to follow trusted news sources or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How Can I Avoid Getting Sick and Prevent Spreading the Disease?
There are a number of ways to reduce your risk of infection and prevent further spread. It’s recommended you:
- Follow guidance from your local government and public health officials for social distancing and in several states, sheltering in place. Stay inside as much as possible. For more visit the CDC website.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, several times a day.
- Do not share household items such as hand towels and dishes.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer which kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Contact a health care provider and stay home if you have symptoms.
What to Do If You or Someone in Your Home Gets Sick With COVID-19
- Make sure the sick person rests at home and drinks lots of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Do not share a bedroom with a sick person. By itself, a bed is a surface where a sick person can spread the coronavirus with just a sneeze or a cough.
- If possible, have the sick person use their own designated bathroom so no one else in the house is exposed to contaminated surfaces such as faucets, sink counters, toilets and door knobs.
- Wear disposable gloves when touching the sick person, their environment and used/touched items or surfaces.
- Monitor yourself for symptoms.
Lung Health News and Updates
Passionate about lung health? So are we. We are working to build a future free of lung disease. A world without asthma, COPD, or lung cancer. A world with clean air where everyone breathes easier. Sign-up for our monthly e-newsletter for updates about policies we’re promoting, how our programs impact the community, and ways you can get involved.
Do you live with COPD or care for someone who does? Sign-up for our quarterly Inspiration e-newsletter which contains practical tips for living well, the latest in COPD research and legislative updates that may affect you. You will also receive an annual newsletter by mail.