Coronavirus disease 19, also known as COVID-19 or simply coronavirus, is a world-wide pandemic that is inflicting a flurry of fear, panic and information from a wide variety of sources. To avoid the spread of misinformation and to empower our patients with accurate knowledge, the physicians at the Allergy & Asthma Center have consolidated some of our most frequently-asked questions about the coronavirus itself and as it relates to its practice, into one convenient fact sheet.
Below, you will also find a list of resources you can continue to trust through the duration of the pandemic, along with our contact information and testing procedures. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any further questions you may have regarding COVID-19.
Coronavirus disease 19, or COVID-19, is a respiratory virus that spreads from person to person. People in close proximity (within about six feet) to a person carrying can pass the virus by coughing or sneezing, during which the uninfected person comes in contact with infected respiratory droplets. COVID-19 may also spread through contact with infected surfaces.
The coronavirus can spread about one to three days before symptoms start, a key medical official of the World Health Organization reported on April 6th. Whether the person is symptomatic or presymptomatic, the disease is still spread in the same way — through droplets from the nose and mouth.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus are similar to symptoms of the flu, though it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Along with mild to severe respiratory illness, the three telltale signs include:
COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the term “pandemic” simply refers to a disease which has spread quickly and simultaneously over a large portion of the globe. The term carries no implications about the severity or curability of the condition.
According to the latest statement from the CDC on their website,there are no medications or other therapeutics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat COVID-19 . However, efforts are being made across the scientific community to produce one, e.g. Remdesivir (in Clinical Trial phase), Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine (used to treat malaria and other inflammatory conditions) and other drugs that are in clinical trials or are being considered for clinical trials of pre-exposure prophylaxis, post-exposure prophylaxis, or treatment of COVID-19.
You can protect yourself and help prevent spreading the virus to others if you:
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease.” If you have recently traveled out of the country to a location currently reporting infections, or if you have come into contact with someone who has since tested positive for COVID-19, you may be asked to complete a quarantine.
While not all quarantines are the same, currently, the CDC recommends:
Unfortunately, not everything you see and hear about COVID-19 is verified fact. Here is a short list of some commonly-circulated, false statements about the virus which have been debunked by the WHO:
When it comes to a global pandemic, misinformation can be dangerous. For a list of verified resources, please jump to the bottom of this page.
There are now two main types of tests for coronavirus (COVID-19): molecular and serological. The fastest test to be authorized by the FDA, created by Abbott, can return results in as little as 5 minutes.There are no at-home COVID-19 tests that have been authorized by the FDA yet.
According to the CDC, if you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, try calling your state or local health department or a medical provider. Decisions about testing are at the discretion of these groups and medical professionals..While supplies of these tests are increasing, it may still be difficult to find a place to get tested.
If you test positive for COVID-19, vist the If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone instructional webpage on the CDC’s website. It breaks the information down into sections: “What To Do if You Are Sick”, “Caring for Yourself at Home”, “Caring for Someone at Home” and “Disinfecting your home if someone is sick”.
At The Allergy and Asthma Center, we want to educate our patients responsibly about coronavirus and prevent the spread of misinformation. Here is our list of verified resources patients can trust to provide accurate information about COVID-19.