BRG Infection Preventionist answers COVID-19 FAQ

BRG Infection Preventionist answers COVID-19 FAQ
. (Source: WXIX)

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Ask the Expert

You asked, we answered! Our Infection Preventionist Connie DeLeo answers your questions about COVID-19.

Posted by Baton Rouge General Medical Center on Thursday, 26 March 2020

WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS?

  • The Coronavirus ( COVID-19) is a newly identified airborne virus in the corona viral family, but it is more severe and spreads easily. Diagnosis is difficult because it shares several symptoms with influenza.

HOW DOES IT SPREAD?

  • The virus is thought to spread similarly to influenza. That is, it spreads person to person through respiratory droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby - typically within 6 feet - or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

  • Signs and symptoms of infection with the new coronavirus may appear two to 14 days after exposure and can include:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Difficulty Breathing

HOW CAN I PREVENT MYSELF FROM GETTING SICK?

  • You should stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed. If you must go out in public, practice social distancing - keep a distance of 6 feet distance between you and others and wash your hands often.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your local health care provider and ask how best to be evaluated. If you need a doctor, please call Baton Rouge General Physicians at (225) 763-4500. Do not go to your health care provider or hospital without calling first. If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus stay at home except to get medical care.

CAN I BE TESTED FOR COVID-19?

  • If you have symptoms, please call your doctor to discuss your symptoms before arriving to their clinic. If you need a doctor please call Baton Rouge General Physicians at (844) 338-6499.
BRG Infection Preventionist answers COVID-19 FAQ - 6 a.m.

HOW IS COVID-19 TREATED?

  • Currently, there are no antiviral medications available to treat Coronavirus. If you are diagnosed, home care is recommended to relieve your symptoms.

WHAT ARE SEVERE COMPLICATIONS FROM THIS VIRUS?

  • Many patients have pneumonia in both lungs.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19?

  • If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should self-quarantine for 14 days and restrict activities outside your home. Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home and avoid sharing personal household items. Cover your coughs and sneezes and clean your hands often. You should monitor your symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing).

WHEN SHOULD I SEEK EMERGENCY CARE?

  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
    • *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

CAN I CATCH COVID-19 FROM CONTACT WITH AN OBJECT RATHER THAN A PERSON?

  • Yes, you can catch COVID-19 from an object if the surface of that object has live virus on it. How long the virus can live outside an organism is unknown. Expert estimates range from a few hours to up to nine days, depending on the type of surface, surrounding temperature and environment.

CAN A PERSON HAVE COVID-19 WITHOUT HAVING SYMPTOMS?

  • Yes.
BRG Infection Preventionist answers COVID-19 FAQ - 6:30 a.m.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?

  • While there is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including the flu:
    • Flu season is still in full swing and it’s not too late to get a flu shot. This is key because if you have the flu, you’re at higher risk for other infections like pneumonia.
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

WHAT DOES SOCIAL DISTANCING MEAN?

  • Social distancing is remaining out of public settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.

AM I AT RISK FOR COVID-19 FROM A PACKAGE OR PRODUCTS SHIPPING FROM CHINA?

  • Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. In general, because of poor survivability of coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks.

WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK?

  • People with chronic medical conditions like: Heart disease, Diabetes, Lung disease.

SHOULD I SELF-ISOLATE MYSELF?

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