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If you’ve been exposed

The novel coronavirus, or Covid-19, is a new strain of coronavirus that was discovered in 2019. Symptoms of the coronavirus include coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and fever. Covid-19 spreads mainly from person to person interaction and the virus may be able to live on surfaces for up to 3 days. Good hygiene and social distancing are the best ways to ensure you don’t get the virus. If you haven’t already, click over to our other blog covering the best ways to prevent being exposed to the virus.   

If you think you were exposed, you may spread the virus long before you begin to feel sick and some people can still spread the virus but never develop symptoms. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of the novel coronavirus to appear, so that means you need to self-quarantine or stay at home for 14 days. Unfortunately, that means you’ll need to cancel your plans. But now you can catch up on your Netflix queue, do some spring cleaning, learn a new language, or catch up on those unfinished projects. If you aren’t already working from home, talk to your boss about immediately switching to telework. If you live in an area that isn’t heavily populated, you can go outside for some fresh air so long as you aren’t getting too close to people. If you do go outside, don’t touch anything that other un-exposed people may interact with.

Symptoms of the coronavirus include coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and fever. If you develop these symptoms, get lots of rest, and if needed, take fever reducing medication like aspirin or ibuprofen, according to the instructions on the package. If you have health concerns or take medications, please talk to your doctor before you take any new medication. Using a humidifier can help reduce irritants, viral particles, or bacteria in the air and may help you breathe a little easier. If you don’t have a humidifier, take long hot showers and sit in the steam as long as you can. If none of these options work for you, you can just breath in steam from a bowl filled with hot water. The steam helps loosen up mucus so you can cough it up and clear your lungs. Your body requires a lot of water intake and a fever may dry you out and increase your need for fluids, so avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids like juice or water.

If you think you might have the novel coronavirus, please call your doctor before you make an appointment. Many people who do get the virus don’t get very sick and will recover just fine at home. Your doctor can help you understand when it’s time to schedule a visit.  If you must go to the doctor, make sure you call ahead so medical personnel can take appropriate actions to prevent spread of the virus to other patients who might be visiting for other reasons.

There’s no evidence right now that dogs and cats can get sick from the coronavirus, but they may still be able to carry the virus in their fur, so if you think you’ve been exposed don’t allow other people or animals to interact with your pets, and if necessary, walk your pets when no-one else is around.

If you need help getting access to food, utilities, or other care, please check our resources page to find the most convenient location to you.

Check out our activities page to find a list of activities to keep you busy while you are practicing social distancing or self-isolating. Don’t forget to come back to these pages as we will update them as we learn more.

Science for Georgia is a 501(c)(3). We work to build a bridge between scientists and the public and advocate for the responsible use of science in public policy.

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