In light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, you may find yourself subject to “information overload.” While there are many details about the Coronavirus circulating on the news and internet, we want to be a reliable resource for you.
Here at Sona, your health is our priority, and our goal is to provide you with accurate and practical information. While concern during this time is understandable, we are here to answer your questions and support you however we can. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses frequently seen in both people and animals. Usually, coronaviruses are responsible for causing the “common cold.” Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19) is a “novel” or new type of coronavirus. Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to that of the flu and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
What can I do to protect myself?
- – Wash your hands with warm water and soap often for at least 20 seconds
- – Avoid touching your mouth, nose, eyes, and face with unwashed hands
- – Boost your immune system with elderberry (see our past blog about elderberry), vitamin C, echinacea, or zinc
- – Ask your Sona pharmacist for over-the-counter recommendations
- – Get your flu vaccine
- The flu vaccine does not protect against Coronavirus; however, it is important to protect yourself against other viruses, which helps to prevent more severe respiratory illness
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 primarily spreads through people in close contact with one another (within 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. It may be possible to spread the virus by touching surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, but this is not the main way the virus spreads.
If COVID-19 spreads through droplets, do I need a face mask?
According to the Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if you are feeling well, you do not need a face mask. Face masks are important for those who are feeling sick and healthcare workers directly caring for them. If you are feeling well, obtaining face masks in bulk may prevent access for those who need them.
How serious is Coronavirus?
Similar to influenza, cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild to severe. Many people who initially contracted the virus have already fully recovered, some without ever knowing that they had it. Symptoms appear to be more severe in the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, COPD, or tobacco use. If you have these or another pre-existing health condition, consider taking extra precautions to protect yourself.
What should I do if I am feeling sick?
If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath:
- – Stay home and separate yourself from other family members and pets
- – Before seeking medical attention, call ahead and let your provider know what your symptoms are so they can provide you with further instructions
- – Prevent the spread of respiratory droplets by coughing or sneezing into your elbow (not your hands), wear a face mask if possible, and frequently wash your hands
- – Clean surfaces that are frequently used (doorknobs, remotes, phones, etc.)
- – Plan ahead: purchase groceries and consider freezing some meals in the event that you are not feeling well
Can I get tested for Coronavirus at Sona?
- We are currently NOT able to test for COVID-19 at Sona. Testing can be done at the Buncombe County Department of Health or Mission Hospital.
Where can I find the most up to date information?
The CDC is updating their website frequently with the most current and accurate information about COVID-19. Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html for Frequently Asked Questions. Buncombe County Health and Human Services also has reliable information specific to our community.
If you have further questions regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Sona team at (828) 298-3636. It is our mission to keep you healthy and well-informed!