What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Coronavirus symptoms are similar to the flu. Cough, fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue are the most common initial symptoms.
How concerned should I be about COVID-19?
At this time, the risk of serious illness to individuals who are otherwise healthy and taking basic precautions is low. Individuals with chronic medical conditions, or conditions that impact their immune system, are at higher risk. It is important to remember that most people who have respiratory symptoms do not have COVID-19.
Where are we seeing cases of COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a global pandemic. This means it has reached nearly all parts of the world. Some areas have been designated as high risk areas by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That list will change over time as the disease spreads and as countries affected early start to recover. You can find information here:
I have a cough/sneezing/fever. What should I do?
It is unlikely you have COVID-19, but as always, if you are sick, you should stay at home. Avoid work, school, public areas, public transportation and try to avoid being in close contact with others. If you have medical questions, call your primary care provider. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911. It is always recommended that you call first before going to any health care facility, as many places can handle things over the phone and this limits spread of germs.
Can I get tested here for COVID-19?
At this time, testing for COVID-19 is limited to high risk individuals, and we are not able to offer the test at Planned Parenthood. If you think you need to be tested, call your local provider or public health department. You can also call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service's Coronavirus Hotline at 877-435-8411.
How does novel coronavirus spread?
Most often, spread of these viruses from person- to-person happens among close contact--within about 6 feet for a long period of time. Person-to-person spread occurs mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads. Current evidence suggest the virus can live on a solid surface for hours to days.
How can I help protect myself?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent novel coronavirus infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. At this time, the CDC does not recommend any additional precautions other than the standard advice below that is always true:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Should I be wearing a facemask if I don’t have any symptoms of coronavirus?
No. The CDC does not recommend the general public wearing surgical masks or N95 masks to protect themselves from coronavirus. Wearing a facemask when not indicated is unlikely to work and may actually be harmful as it leads to increased touching of the nose/mouth.
What are the treatments for novel coronavirus?
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for novel coronavirus infection. People infected with novel coronavirus should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
I’m pregnant. Is there anything special I need to do?
There is not yet any information available about the susceptibility of pregnant people to COVID-19. The current recommendations from the CDC are no different for pregnant people than for people who are not pregnant.
I was planning on traveling. Should I cancel my trip?
The decision to travel is personal and should be made in the context of your underlying health, the reason for travel, the necessity of travel, and where you will be traveling to. If you have travel insurance, you should review the policy to determine coverage for cancellations due to concerns of infectious disease outbreaks. We recommend you consult the CDC’s travel notices for guidance, but remember that situations are changing frequently so things could change.
Where can I get more information?
- For information from the CDC, please visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
- If you have general questions in Missouri, please call the hotline: 877-435-8411
- If you have general questions in Illinois, please call 800-889-3931.