Coronavirus symptoms: What should you do?

Published 9:39 am Monday, March 16, 2020

You begin to feel ill, and panic sets in due to the coronavirus being on everyone’s mind. What should you do?

While many individuals who get the virus show no symptoms at all, others will feel mild to severe symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control focuses on several key symptoms to be on the lookout for. These symptoms include a fever, shortness of breath and a cough. Those who have had the virus with symptoms compare it to that of feeling like a cold. Symptoms are known to appear two to 14 days after exposure.

While many who exhibit similar symptoms could have a variety of other respiratory issues, like the common cold, people are urged to call specific numbers for help rather than rushing to the emergency room.

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In the wake of a case being identified in Sullivan County recently, health care facilities like Ballad Health have stepped up efforts for people to call if they believe they may have the virus.

“Our Nurse Connect will be an instrumental first point of contact for people where we can assess the risk factors for people who are concerned about symptoms,” Dr. Amit Vashist, Chief Clinical Officer of Ballad Health, said in a press release. “The call center is supported by nurses and physicians who can provide an appropriate initial assessment, and then provide guidance to individuals based on their specific symptoms, risk factors and possible need for testing. If we utilize this system, we can reduce the possibility of a surge that can impact our emergency access points for other patients, and we can provide a more orderly mechanism for getting patients to care who may need more immediate access. It also minimizes unnecessary exposure to health care professionals and protects patients in the workforce. Isolation of high risk cases is the most important thing we can do to prevent the possible spread.”

For those not wishing to use this hotline for assistance, and would instead prefer to go to their own physician, it is advised that you call ahead so they can prepare and minimize any exposure to others.

To prevent the spread of the illness, social distancing remains the key way to avoid contracting the virus as well as proper hand washing and disinfecting surfaces regularly.

If you are worried you are showing possible symptoms, you can call Ballad’s Nurse Connect at 1-833-822-5523, or contact your local health provider.

Details pertaining to the virus and procedures are consistently being updated.