I am not an expert myself, but sharing some important knowledge I came across on UCSF that I feel is very important for everyone to know, since the Corona test kits and health infrastructure is already limited in comparison to demand right now. The best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 is to follow all the same basic practices that are important for protecting yourselves from influenza.
How do I protect myself and my family against the new coronavirus?
The best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 is to follow all the same basic practices that are important for protecting yourselves from influenza.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these include:
Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 secondsIf soap and water are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash, and washing your hands
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfacesStaying home when you are sick
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Is it possible to distinguish from a cold or flu?
The symptoms of COVID-19 infections can range from very mild to severe respiratory illness and may include fever, cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms can be very similar to those for influenza, so it may be difficult to distinguish without clinical testing.
When should I seek medical attention if I’m worried about the coronavirus? What’s the best way to do that?
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, or emergency department for medical advice. This will help your health care provider to take steps to keep other people from getting infected if you need to come in.
In the meantime, if you feel sick, it’s a good idea to wear a facemask, avoid public areas, and stay away from others in your home.
Should I start wearing a mask when I’m at work or out in public? If not now, when might that change?
The CDC and other public health experts do not recommend that people who are well wear face masks as a way to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
As there is currently a limited global supply of masks, they should be reserved for caregivers of patients with infections that require mask use or by patients with cough or other symptoms of respiratory illness.