Feeling sick? Here’s what you should do

Published 3:44 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2020

You begin feeling slightly ill, wondering if it is something minor or the dreaded COVID-19. Do you need to know the difference, and should you get tested?
The CDC recently added to the list of symptoms associated with the virus. These include, to name a few, sore throat, chills, muscle aches and a headache. With these symptoms now blurring the lines of other tell-tale illnesses, sometimes they are hard to distinguish.
According to Dr. Arnold Hopland, founder of Medical Care, while there are differences among illnesses, like the flu, allergies and COVID-19, you do not need to know the difference to need to be checked out.
“No,” he said. “I don’t think you need to know the difference to get tested. I think if they have symptoms and are sure of the cause of those symptoms, they should get tested.”
In defining similarities in symptoms amongst illnesses, Hopland noted that this is true and varies among people, some of which would have a mild case of COVID-19. This depends on weaknesses of the individual. He went on to elaborate on the complexity of COVID-19, which has no treatment as of now, and how it affects various parts of your body.
There are those who see the distinctions and argue that the COVID-19 is just the flu, or that the flu is worse. Both Hopland and Dr. David Kirschke,Medical Director of the Northeast Regional Health Office, agreed this is not the case.
“COVID-19 is more infectious (easily spread) and more deadly than influenza,” said Kirschke. “More deaths from COVID-19 have already been reported in the U.S. than from a typical influenza season, and we are only just starting the epidemic.”
Hopland detailed the issues of COVID-19 and no treatment.
“We have specific treatment for the flu that does work, and we do not at this moment have identified clearly effective treatment for COVID,” he said. “Often by the time symptoms develop, you have had a lot of damage done. With the flu you have aching and fever almost immediately and can seek medical help. So the main difference is influenza has treatment and a vaccine.”
With testing now available for anyone who desires it, and more symptoms arriving with COVID-19, it is suggested that if you want a test to contact your healthcare provider or local health departments near you to receive one. Likewise, despite reopenings now occurring to businesses, you should still wear a mask to show what Hopland deems an “act of kindness” for others around you, and maintain social distancing away from large crowds. Additionally, if you don’t feel well, stay home.

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