Coronavirus and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

There has been a lot of talk about the recent coronavirus outbreak. Right now education is your best defense. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still view the risk to the public as low. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from viruses like this. 

If you are currently sick or experiencing symptoms, see a doctor on LiveHealth Online from home. Doctors can assess your condition and refer you to in-person care if necessary. 

What is a coronavirus? 

There are several types of coronaviruses some cause illness in people and others in animals. The current outbreak is a new coronavirus that causes a condition known as COVID-19. Other coronaviruses you may have heard about are severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. 

Where did the new coronavirus come from? 

The new coronavirus was first identified in December 2019 as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory (lung) illness in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. 

How does the new coronavirus spread? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center is still learning about how the new coronavirus spreads between people. Coronaviruses typically spread from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing, just like the flu. 

How can I protect myself from the coronavirus? 

You can protect yourself from the coronavirus by taking the same precautions you would for the flu or other respiratory viruses. 

Here are some everyday preventative actions to take: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after eating, coughing, sneezing, using the restroom or blowing your nose.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with tissues, and be sure to throw them away after use. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Clean and disinfect objects or surfaces frequently using a household cleaning spray.  

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

What should I do if I feel sick? 

Avoid the waiting room and see a doctor on LiveHealth Online from home. You’ll receive an assessment and treatment plan in minutes without leaving your couch. 

If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to an area with an outbreak or were in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past two weeks before feeling sick, seek immediate medical care. Before traveling to a doctor’s office or emergency room, talk to a doctor on LiveHealth Online. Be sure to inform the doctor about your travel and symptoms. 

If you have not had close contact with COVID-19 but are feeling sick, try not to panic. You most likely have the flu, common cold or a virus. However, because the symptoms of coronaviruses and the flu can be similar, it’s important to see a doctor. Have a visit today! 

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