Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
With coronavirus likely taking up so much of your news stream, it’s common to have plenty of questions about it and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Although the best way to find authoritative information is by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or your state’s health department, there are a few things you can keep in mind as you navigate these rapid changes.
What is coronavirus?
Despite calling COVID-19 “the Coronavirus”, there are actually many different coronaviruses that affect both animals and humans. The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, was likely spread through animal-human contact and now transmits through close human-to-human contact. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory infections that can be as mild as the common cold or as serious as pneumonia. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
What are the symptoms?
Although we’re still learning more about the novel coronavirus, many symptoms are consistent with a respiratory infection. The three most common symptoms to watch for include:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
Some patterns have shown that patients also experience gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea along with COVID-19, as well as some cases of a loss of taste or smell.
Who’s at risk for coronavirus?
Although many people present with mild symptoms, there are some at-risk groups that should take extra care to avoid infection. This includes
- People over 65 years old
- People who live in nursing homes or care facilities
- People who are obese (a BMI of 40 or more)
- People who have chronic conditions like lung disease, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes
Additionally, people who are immunocompromised can be more at risk of getting infected. People outside of these risk groups can still carry the virus and pass it on to people who could become seriously ill from coronavirus. This means that, if you’re young and healthy, you should take great care to avoid passing on the virus to these groups.
What steps should I take?
Firstly, you should make sure to keep yourself informed about COVID-19 from reputable government sources. Secondly, you should follow the guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes washing hands frequently, practicing social distancing, and staying home whenever absolutely possible. If you’re experiencing symptoms, you should call your regular physician and follow their instructions. And, most importantly, make sure to avoid contact with at-risk groups!
Learn more about COVID-19
At the Center for Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine, we’re passionate about putting our patients’ health first. We offer virtual consultations for your dermatologic and cosmetic needs for the time being, and recommend you learn more about the novel coronavirus by visiting CDC.gov. If you’re interested in setting up a virtual consultation with our board certified dermatologists in Chicago, visit our website to fill out our online form.