Q: What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
Q: What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Symptoms of COVID-19 are flu-like and include fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.
Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, may develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia.
Q: Should I be worried about getting infected with COVID-19 at a Donalsonville Hospital or any of the affiliated clinics?
Our hospital and clinics have protocols and systems in place to keep all patients, visitors and healthcare workers safe.
Q: I have a regularly scheduled appointment with my doctor. What should I do?
In most cases, you should keep your regular appointments. If you are worried, please contact your care team via phone to discuss your concerns. If you are a patient who is at high-risk for complications from respiratory illness, your clinic may want to reschedule your appointment. If you have a previously scheduled appointment and have developed a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, please contact the clinic before coming to your appointment.
Q: What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
If you start to feel ill, try not to panic. The majority of people who get the novel coronavirus experience minor symptoms and do not need medical care. First, call your doctor. If you have a mild case, you may be able to treat your symptoms at home. Staying home helps prevent you from exposing other people to the illness. For those who have a more serious case, calling in advance will allow the urgent or emergent care team to prepare for your arrival at the hospital with tools such as masks, alternative entryways into the hospital and rooms with controlled airflow.
Q: Do I need to be tested for COVID-19?
Not everyone who feels sick needs to be tested.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you should call your doctor if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and have recently traveled to countries or regions where the coronavirus is spreading or have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. If you are only experiencing mild symptoms and have not been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or traveled to one of the countries where infection has spread, you do not need to be tested.
Q: How does it spread?
Although we have a lot to learn about this virus, it appears to spread like other respiratory viruses - by people with the infection coughing and sneezing. These droplets are inhaled by other people or moved to the eyes, nose or mouth by contaminated hands.
Q: How can I keep myself, my family and my friends safe?
The most important steps to take are the same as for every cold and flu season: Wash your hands frequently. Stay home if you are feeling ill. If you experience symptoms, call your doctor's office. They will help you determine if you need to be seen and provide you with instructions for seeking medical care. Here are some more helpful prevention tips.
Q: Where can I learn more about COVID-19?
You can stay up to date on the latest information and guidelines by visiting the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.