The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with virus, such as fever, coughing and difficulty breathing, contact your primary care physician as soon as possible. If you do not have one, contact the OU Physicians Health and Wellness Clinic at UCO at 405-271-8261.
Those currently being treated for the Coronavirus have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after exposure or as long as 14 days after exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How does it spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is believed to have emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another, in much the same way as the flu or other respiratory illnesses spread, via respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes.
Additionally, it may be possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.
How is it diagnosed and treated?
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has a guide on what to do if you are feeling sick on its website.
If you are displaying symptoms, contact a health care professional. They will work with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested. If you do not have a preferred health care professional, contact the OU Physicians Health and Wellness Clinic on campus.
As of now, there is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.
Prevention Methods and Recommendations
The CDC has these suggestions:
- Stay at home as much as possible.
- If you must be around others, practice social distancing and stay at least six feet away from any other person.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available;
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch.