What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an upper respiratory infection, or coronavirus, that is in the news for two main factors: it is a virus never seen before, and it has quickly spread throughout the world, with over 400 positive cases identified in New Jersey. Learning the symptoms can help you determine when you need to go to a physician or local testing center.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Because COVID-19 is an upper respiratory infection, it shares many of its symptoms with the flu. However, it should not be taken lightly. Symptoms are more serious than a traditional flu case, and severe cases can lead to kidney failure and pneumonia to develop. If you or a member of your family begins to exhibit any of the following, contact your physician for an over-the-phone assessment to determine if you should get tested for COVID-19:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Chest congestion
The novel coronavirus can develop symptoms anywhere between two and fourteen days after initial exposure, or may not exhibit symptoms at all. Asymptomatic patients have been common, which is contributing to the spread of the virus. A patient without symptoms may still be highly contagious and able to spread it. Patients who are considered high-risk include patients over the age of 60 or people with compromised immune systems, who may exhibit more serious symptoms or complications if they come into contact with the coronavirus.
How can I prevent the coronavirus?
The coronavirus is spread through direct contact with infected people or surfaces, but cases of community spread have also been reported in New Jersey. Community spread occurs when a person is unsure of how they came into contact with the virus. The following methods of prevention are recommended by the CDC:
- You should make sure you are washing your hands at regular intervals throughout the day with antibacterial soap and warm water, using lotion afterwards to prevent breaks and cracks in the skin which can allow germs to enter. If soap or water are unavailable, hand sanitizer can be used as a substitute, but will not be able to remove buildup from your hands.
- Refrain from touching your face whenever possible to keep germs from entering your system, especially through your eyes or mouth.
- Disinfect the area around you, including your workspace, food prep areas and electronics in order to kill germs. Use disinfectant wipes or solutions, or cleaning products that are safe for your phone, keyboard and computer screen.
- Follow local and state guidelines. New Jersey is currently practicing social distancing, which is avoiding unnecessary exposure to crowds or trips into public areas. Limit your runs to stores whenever possible, and keep a distance of six feet away from others. If you require any type of medical care for injuries or occupational medicine, visit AFC Urgent Care West Orange.
Walk-In Urgent Care in West Orange, NJ
If you are beginning to experience flu-like symptoms or symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, call AFC Urgent Care West Orange from the parking lot. Our nurses will be able to go over your symptoms and determine if you will require testing for COVID-19. AFC Urgent Care West Orange is not currently a testing site for COVID-19. Our center is accepting patients for a wide range of other medical issues, including injuries, spring allergies and occupational health such as DOT physicals. For more information, please call 973-669-5900.