What to do if you’re sick or think you might have been exposed to COVID-19, according to the CDC

Ever since it was discovered in 2019 in China, COVID-19 has since spread to 100 countries, with records from the World Health Organization indicating 167,515 confirmed cases and 6,606 deaths. The numbers are staggering and frightening. But there is one message that is central to battling this virus: We are all in this together.

“The most commonly reported symptoms included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness,” WHO said. “Approximately 14 percent experienced severe disease and 5 percent were critically ill.”

Many US cities have imposed shutdowns of businesses in hopes of curbing the spread of the deadly virus.

As the virus spreads in more countries and affects thousands of people, panic has been everywhere. We have seen a lot of empty shelves in supermarkets as most people stock up on foods and other necessities. While others are hoarding toilet papers, sanitizers and canned goods, only little is left to the most susceptible citizens, the elderly.

During these trying times, a lot of people turned into “angels” as they reached out to people in need and offer help and assistance. Acts of kindness have warmed the hearts of many who are despairing over the crisis. In these challenging times, it’s great to see individuals who are spreading the spirit of generosity.

Meanwhile, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out with its official guidelines to keep you safe and aware of what to do if you feel you are infected.

Call your doctor:  If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, follow the steps below to help protect other people in your home and community.

Stay home except to get medical care:

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people in your home, this is known as home isolation:

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.

Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people with the virus limit contact with animals until more information is known.

When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick with COVID-19. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.