Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

The news about the new coronavirus is sobering, and every state in the nation has been affected, including us here in Colorado. 

Despite the seriousness of the situation, our physicians, nurses, and team members at WestMed Family Healthcare want you to know that you should avoid panicking. We’re here to help you stay healthy, get care if you are sick, and prevent the spread of this novel coronavirus in our community. 

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause various illnesses such as SARS and the common cold. In late 2019, a new coronavirus emerged in China and spread to other countries, including the United States. Experts have named the novel coronavirus “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2) and the illness it causes is COVID-19, which is short for “coronavirus disease 2019.”

The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are continuously monitoring this coronavirus outbreak. 

COVID-19 symptoms to look out for

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those caused by other flu viruses. The most common symptoms are:

Am I at risk for COVID-19?

Anyone can get this new coronavirus, but the risk of serious complications increases with age. For this reason, older adults are most at risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. People with compromised immune systems are also at risk, such as those who take immunosuppressant medication or have disorders that affect the immune system.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads from person to person through droplets when an infected individual sneezes, coughs or exhales. The droplets land on surfaces and objects around you and spread when you touch the object and then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose. 

COVID-19 also spreads when someone coughs or sneezes and you breathe in the droplets, but the primary route of transmission is through direct contact with droplets.

How do I protect against COVID-19?

The best way to reduce your risk is to stay informed with reliable resources such as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Incorporate habits into your daily life that lower the chances of getting sick. Here are some effective ways to reduce your risk:

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

COVID-19 testing requires a doctor’s order. Testing is important for anyone who has symptoms severe enough to require medical attention. A positive test result helps guide your care. People with mild symptoms may not need to be tested. The treatment for mild symptoms is the same as the typical cold or flu.

What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

Get medical help immediately if you experience serious symptoms including:

What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

You might be confused about what steps to take and who to contact first if you suspect that you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms of a cold or flu, there’s no need to panic. Contact us at WestMed Family Health if you:

At WestMed Family Healthcare, we’re here to assist our community in navigating COVID-19. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions and concerns. 

Call our Westminster, Colorado, office to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified physicians. We also offer same-day urgent care appointments.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Foods to Avoid to Lower Cholesterol

Cholesterol is necessary for good health. But your liver produces all of the cholesterol your body needs. Cutting back on foods high in saturated fat goes a long way in lowering your levels of the most harmful type of cholesterol.

Five Ways Life Changes After a Diabetes Diagnosis

Diabetes doesn’t have the final say when it comes to your health. With the right diet and lifestyle changes, you can get your blood sugar under control and live a longer, fuller life without missing out on things you love.

What to Expect From an EKG

To the untrained eye, an EKG is just a series of lines. But each line refers to important information corresponding to electrical signals from the heart. Doctors analyze these tiny signals to diagnose heart problems.

Start the Year Off Right With an Annual Wellness Exam

Don’t wait until you’re feeling unwell to visit the doctor for a checkup. Annual wellness visits are important even when you’re feeling well. These visits help prevent diseases and catch others before symptoms are apparent.

Is Stress Causing Your Hypertension?

Hypertension can quietly damage blood vessels throughout your body for years before you’re aware of it. Learn why stress may be to blame, and stay on top of your health by visiting your health care provider for a comprehensive checkup.