The common Human Coronaviruses mainly present as mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illnesses similar to the common cold. Symptoms may include runny nose, cough, fever, sore throat, headache, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, and may progress to pneumonia or bronchitis with shortness of breath and easy fatigability.
Those at high risk of developing complications include those with underlying chronic conditions, such as respiratory and cardiac diseases, immunocompromised individuals, diabetics, as well as those in extreme age groups (e.g. infants or the elderly). In addition, pregnant women are also at higher risk if infected by COVID-19.
There are several types of tests for this virus available. This would include serum PCR assay, nasal swab, broncho-alveolar lavage, sputum and sometimes stool samples.
The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccines are authorized and recommended for use in the United States. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19 and will also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19. Contact your local health department to learn how and when you can get vaccinated.
Vaccine information from the World Health Organization (WHO) may be found at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/covid-19-vaccines.
Vaccine information from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/index.html..
The above measures are effective against all infectious agents, including Influenza A and B (“the flu”), which sickens millions of individual worldwide and kills thousands each year.
The CDC issued guidance after returning home from travel. These include taking the following precautions and steps to reduce exposure and limit transmission:
If you develop a fever (100.4F/38C), cough or have difficulty breathing call your health department for advice before seeking care. If you can’t reach your health department, call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
WHO has advised all worldwide healthcare personnel and airport security personnel to be extra vigilant and enact enhancement of surveillance at airports for early detection and prevention of spread of the disease.
Please visit the WHO website for further information.