What You Need to Know About Covid-19
Published 7:42 pm Friday, April 3, 2020
Sponsored by Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi
With cases of COVID-19 – the illness caused by the novel coronavirus – likely increasing here in Oxford, it’s important that everyone knows how to help reduce its spread – and what to do if you think you might have it.
Symptoms of Covid-19
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever (100.4F or higher), cough, muscle aches and fatigue, and shortness of breath. Most people who contract the virus will only have mild symptoms. But for some people – especially seniors and those with pre-existing conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes, or who are immuno-compromised – it can be deadly. That’s why it’s vital that everyone plays their part in containing the virus.
How do people catch Covid-19?
It’s spread in two main ways: between people who are in close contact with each other (less than six feet away) for at least a few minutes, and through droplets produced when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes. These can be inhaled by someone close by, and they can also linger on surfaces for a number of hours – meaning that if someone touches those surfaces and then touches their mouth, eyes, or nose, they can become infected.
How can I stay well?
There are a number of things that you can help prevent the spread of the virus. The first of these is to minimize contact with other people, by practicing social distancing.
That means staying at home as much as possible, avoiding crowds and not inviting other people into your home. You should only go out when necessary, and when you do stay at least six feet away from other people – and definitely avoid handshakes or other physical contact with anyone outside your immediate household.
The second of these is to maintain good hygiene standards. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to soap and water. Try to avoid touching your face as much as possible, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth. If you sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue – and throw it into the trash immediately – or into the crook of your elbow. You should also keep the inside of your home as clean as possible, by wiping down frequently used surfaces with a regular household cleaner.
It’s essential that everyone follows these rules, even if they feel well. According to research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as many as 25 percent of people with the new coronavirus may not show any symptoms – but they can still spread it.
What to do if you have symptoms of Covid-19
If you, or someone in your family, is showing symptoms of COVID-19, don’t go to see your doctor. Instead, call them to discuss your symptoms. If you don’t have a doctor, you can call Baptist Memorial Health Care on 844-837-2433 to be referred to one if your doctor thinks you may have COVID-19 they will test you for it.
If your symptoms are mild, your doctor may advise you to stay at home rather than visit the surgery or hospital. There is currently no cure for COVID-19, so any treatment options would be limited to over-the-counter medicines to alleviate symptoms, such as cough suppressants or fever reducers.
It’s important that you self-quarantine during this time to ensure that you don’t infect others. This means separating yourself from other people as much as possible, including those you live with: avoid sharing personal items like dishes, linens and towels, and use a separate bathroom if you can.
Pay attention to your symptoms. If they become more severe – particularly if you’re struggling to breathe – you will need medical assistance. You can call 911, or go to the emergency room – but call ahead so they know to expect you.
The coronavirus outbreak is likely to continue for a number of months. Though it may be difficult, it’s important that we all do what we can to limit its spread– to reduce the impact on our health care providers, on ourselves and our loved ones, and on our community as a whole.
For more information from Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi go to https://www.baptistonline.org/covid-19