COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), a new novel strain of the coronavirus that originated in China in 2019, is the disease that led to a worldwide pandemic, starting in 2020. Since then, various other strains have evolved and spread, such as the Delta and Lambda variants.
What are COVID-19 Symptoms?
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include shortness of breath, cough, fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, sudden loss of taste and/or smell, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms typically appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
Many symptoms of COVID-19 can mimic symptoms of seasonal allergies.
For those who show symptoms of COVID-19, viral tests are available. Results from these tests can take between 3-5 days for results.
Am I at risk for COVID-19?
While the potentially fatal COVID-19 can affect anyone, the most vulnerable groups are older adults and those with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, COPD, obesity, chronic kidney disease, serious heart conditions, type 2 diabetes and conditions that compromise the immune system.
How contagious is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is easily transmittable from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, which can spread from coughing, sneezing or even talking in close contact over an extended period of time. (While the risk of transmission is low via contact pets and/or surfaces, it is still possible to contract COVID-19 this way.)
The Delta variant is believed to be the most transmissible of the variants thus far. According to the CDC, Delta is more transmissible than the common cold and influenza, as well as the viruses that cause smallpox and Ebola. Evidence suggests that Delta primarily affects unvaccinated individuals. In addition, it’s had a significant impact on children.
How can I protect myself against COVID-19?
To date, there are three authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J). In August 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine; Moderna and J&J are approved under emergency use authorization (EUA). Each vaccine has undergone vigorous evaluation and is found to be safe and effective.
Due to the evolving variants, booster shots are recommended for immunocompromised individuals, such as those receiving cancer treatment. The U.S. federal government recommends boosters also for the general public, to be administered eight months after the second dose. These recommendations only apply to those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, as there are currently no guidelines for additional doses of J&J.
Other Health Precautions
In order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep at-risk populations safe, it is recommended that people keep six feet of distance between one another (social distancing), wear cloth masks over the mouth and nose in public settings, frequently wash their hands, and clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces.
What is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and what the risks are, is continually evolving. To date, there is no cure for COVID-19.
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From inspiring stories of recovery and perseverance in the face of COVID-19, to the latest news on the ongoing Coronavirus efforts in healthcare, we have you covered. These articles not only inform readers during the ever-evolving COVID-19 crisis, but gives hope and determination to all those in the Jefferson community who have been impacted by the Coronavirus.