Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal Coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2). www.cdc.gov
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recognizes and is responding to this outbreak of respiratory disease caused by this new Coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “Coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
To reduce exposure, if you have traveled to a high-risk area, have had contact with someone with either suspected or confirmed COVID-19, or feel you are exhibiting mild symptoms you think may be associated with COVID-19 such as mild respiratory illness, fever or cough, please call first at 320-312-2155. Our healthcare providers will evaluate your symptoms and explain your best course of action.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- Shortness of breath
- Severe fatigue
Additional symptoms added 4/18/2020
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Call your doctor if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs* include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.
- Washing your hands often
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Staying home if you are sick
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Wearing a facemask if you are sick
- Cleaning and disinfecting your home and work area frequently
- People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth and make us sick.
- Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
- Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
- Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.
- People who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19
- People who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread are at increased risk of exposure
- Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people
The CDC has information for other special populations, who at this time are not considered high risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness but are at increased risk of severe illness from other infectious disease. These include pregnant women and children.
If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 2020
(Q&A on Coronaviruses (COVID-19), 2020)