What to do if you think you have it
If you live in or have traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading:
- If you don’t feel well, stay home. Even if you have mild symptoms like a headache and runny nose, stay in until you’re better. This lets doctors focus on people who are more seriously ill and protects health care workers and people you might meet along the way. You might hear this called self-quarantine. Try to stay in a separate room away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom if you can.
- Call the doctor if you have trouble breathing. You need to get medical help as soon as possible. Calling ahead (rather than showing up) will let the doctor direct you to the proper place, which may not be your doctor’s office. If you don’t have a regular doctor, call your local board of health. They can tell you where to go for testing and treatment.
- Follow your doctor’s advice and keep up with the news on COVID-19. Between your doctor and health care authorities, you’ll get the care you need and information on how to prevent the virus from spreading.
Causes of the New Coronavirus
Researchers aren’t sure what caused it. There’s more than one type of coronavirus. They’re common in people and in animals including bats, camels, cats, and cattle. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is similar to MERS and SARS. They all came from bats.
Coronavirus Risk Factors
Anyone can get COVID-19, and most infections are mild. The older you are, the higher your risk
of severe illness.
You also a have higher chance of serious illness if you have one of these health conditions:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- A weakened immune system because of an organ transplant Obesity
- Serious heart conditions such as heart failure or coronary artery disease
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Conditions that could lead to severe COVID-19 illness include:
- Moderate to severe asthma
- Diseases that affect your blood vessels and blood flow to your brain
- Cystic fibrosis
- High blood pressure
- A weakened immune system because of a blood or bone marrow transplant, HIV, or medications like corticosteroids
- Liver disease
- Damaged or scarred lung tissue (pulmonary fibrosis)
- Type 1 diabetes
Some children and teens who are in the hospital with COVID-19 have an inflammatory condition that doctors are calling multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Doctors think it may be linked to the virus. It causes symptoms similar to those of toxic shock and of Kawasaki disease, a condition that causes inflammation in kids’ blood vessels.