Do you have coronavirus or just the common cold? CDC releases info to help you tell the difference between the symptoms
Visual representations are an easier way to comprehend information. With the coronavirus epidemic plaguing the world, copious information relating to the infection, preventive measures and symptoms have been released and they may be difficult to get a hang of.
COVID-19 has more than 2,200 confirmed cases and caused at least 50 deaths in the United States. In the weeks since the outbreak, social media users took to their respective platforms to share illustrations relating to the novel virus, aiming to spread awareness. With a similar intention in mind, The CDC has released an official graphic bulletin that helps interpret the common symptoms for COVID-19, including fever cough and shortness of breath.
The graphic is a flow-chart of sorts based on information from the CDC and the National Institute of Health, and lists the symptoms that can determine if you have the coronavirus, a cold, the flu or your allergies are acting up.
The chart follows a question and answer format, where you pick between 'yes' or 'no' in accordance with the symptoms you're experiencing. As you respond to the questions posed on the chart, it leads you down a path that suggests you may have contracted the virus or its the flu.
Other signs of the infection include cough, fatigue, weakness, and exhaustion which are also telltale signs of the flu. But symptoms may vary by person and if they persist, it would be better to consult a doctor or an expert. Patients who contract the virus complain of mild to severe respiratory problems and symptoms of the infections take up to 14 days to appear.
John Swartzberg, clinical professor, Infectious Disease and Vaccinology Division said to the San Fransisco Gate, "From a clinical perspective, I don’t think it is possible to distinguish Covid-19 from influenza or some other respiratory pathogens," and warned that the tool should be used cautiously.
"Shortness of breath can occur with any of these, granted, Covid is more likely to do this. The only way to make a diagnosis is to have a test. If you have influenza, there is a good and fairly quick test for this, and there is a medication to take," he added. If you're still uncertain, then seek medical help.
Dr. George Rutherford, Epidemiologist and Director, UCSF's Prevention and Public Health Group said you should get a doctor's consultation for a fever and cough.
"The reason is influenza is a treatable disease with Tamiflu," Dr. Rutherfod added. "They can do a nasal swab on the spot and they can treat you right on the spot."
In another graphic, CDC highlighted the best practices to prevent the spread of germs that are linked to COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, It advise people to refrain from personal or close contact with those who are sick, cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, clean and disinfect objects or surfaces touched frequently, avoid touching your face and clean your hands with soap and warm water for approximately 20 seconds.
The most crucial advice from the CDC is to stay and work from home when sick and seek medical attention if need be.