Older adults are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. More than 81% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65. The number of deaths among people over age 65 is 80 times higher than the number of deaths among people aged 18-29. Those with underlying medical conditions also have an increased risk of sever COVID-19 symptoms. Immunocompromised individuals should be extra cautious to avoid contact with sick people.
If you suspect you may have been in contact with someone who has the coronavirus and have yet to show symptoms, the best thing you can do is quarantine yourself in your home for up to 14 days. If symptoms do not appear in this time, you are likely in the clear, although there have been some cases that have appeared after the 14 day period. If you do begin to show symptoms, visit a healthcare professional that can help you. On top of self-quarantine, continue to wash your hands and any surfaces that you have come in contact with. Wearing a mask when indoors and around other people is also an easy way to help slow the spread of COVID-19, especially for individuals who make be COVID-19 positive but not display any symptoms.
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
There is only one FDA-approved antiviral drug – Remdesivir – to treat adults and children over the age of 12. There are currently trials underway to test the safety and efficacy of other antiviral drugs as well as corticosteroid dexamethasone for the treatment of COVID-19.
Patients that have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have been found to exhibit many of the same symptoms of other respiratory illnesses. These symptoms include mild to severe fever, cough, and shortness of breath which typically begins anywhere from a day or two all the way up to 14 days after initial exposure. Many of the patients that have had severe complications from the virus also have pneumonia in both lungs.
If you are experiencing symptoms, the CDC recommends calling or visiting your local healthcare provider for advice to avoid spreading germs to others.
If you develop severe warning signs such as pain or pressure in the chest, disorientation or confusion, a blue tint in your face or lips, or difficulty breathing or shortness of breath – get medical attention immediately.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is believed to have emerged from an animal source, but is now being spread from person to person. It is thought to be primarily spread through close contact with another person carrying the infection through respiratory droplets produced through sneezing or coughing. It is also likely that people can get the coronavirus by touching surfaces that have the virus on it and then touching their mouths, nose, or eyes. To learn more about the transmission of COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website.