For many of us, Covid-19 has been a life-changing event. It may be difficult to talk about and understand. What is it? Who may be affected? Should I be tested? These questions and more are common and should be acknowledged.
Your family doctor can help answer your questions and keep you informed to ensure the health and safety of you and your loved ones.
What is Covid-19?
A novel or new coronavirus is one that has not previously been seen in humans. Covid-19 is broken down as follows: CO=corona, VI= virus, D=disease. The disease was first identified in December 2019.
What to Do If You Feel Sick
Between the common cold, flu, and allergies, seasonal illnesses are common. So if you start to feel sick, how do you know if you have Covid-19 or another virus? Learn how to identify the symptoms and understand the testing procedures and available vaccines.
Know the Symptoms
The first thing to check is your symptoms. How do you feel? What hurts? Are you coughing? Do you have a fever?
While the symptoms of Covid-19 vary slightly among patients, the most commonly reported symptoms among adults include:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Stomach issues including nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
For children and teens, the most common symptoms are fever and a cough, but any of the above are possible.
Covid vs. the Flu
One of the most common questions, especially since it is flu season, is about the difference between Covid-19 and the flu. Both are respiratory viruses that spread during close contact with an infected individual. Each virus is spread through droplets from sneezing, coughing, or talking. The symptoms are similar, can range from mild to severe, and have the potential to cause serious complications.
Covid-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms can show up 2-14 days after exposure to an infected individual and the defining symptom is often a loss of taste or smell. The flu may be caused by influenza A or B. Symptoms generally appear within 1-4 days and do not include loss of taste or smell.
Covid-19 spreads rapidly and is very contagious. It may involve serious lung injury and currently has a higher mortality rate.
However, the only true way to know the difference is to be tested. We do not offer Covid-19 testing, but testing locations may be available in your area.
Be Prepared & Protect Yourself
The best way to avoid Covid-19 is to follow the CDC’s recommendations for prevention. This includes wearing a face mask or facial covering, maintaining social distancing practices, and avoiding crowds. If you or a family member are high-risk meaning you have an underlying medical condition or are over 60, please take the necessary precautions!
If you are feeling any of the above symptoms and/or have been around someone who has tested positive for Covid in the last 2-14 days, you may want to get tested for the coronavirus. Covid testing is set up throughout the county but is not available in our office.
If you need to be tested, check here to find a testing site near you. Currently, there are viral tests, which diagnose a current infection, and antibody tests, which show a previous infection.
If you have been exposed, let those you come into contact with know and follow the recommended quarantine protocols.
Two Covid-19 vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are starting to be rolled out across the country.
Both vaccines have been approved for Covid-19 prevention. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine involves 2 shots in the upper arm given at least 21 days apart and is 95% effective. The Moderna vaccine is 2 shots given 28 days apart and is 94.1% effective against Covid-19.
Additional vaccines are in clinical trials and hope to be approved soon.
Who Is Eligible?
Although the vaccines have been approved for use, they are not available to the general public just yet. The vaccines will be available in phases.
Through Phase 1a, health care workers fighting Covid-19 and long-term care staff and residents will be vaccinated first. In Phase 1b, frontline workers and adults 75 and older can be vaccinated. Phase 2 is for high-risk patients, phase 3 for students, and phase 4 everyone else.
Talk to Your Primary Care Physician
If you still have questions about Covid-19, your risks, or the vaccine, speak with your primary care doctor in Mooresville, NC. Covid-19 testing is not available in our office.
Blue Skies Family Medicine is a direct primary care practice that offers 24/7 access to a primary care physician, unrushed appointments, and a personal approach to medical care. Now especially, it is important to have access to a family doctor you can trust.
To schedule an appointment with your primary care physician, contact Blue Skies Family Medicine in Mooresville today!