When the novel coronavirus is spreading at a rapid rate, a single cough may send you into high alert. The sniffles may indicate something graver than the average cold, and a fever could be more than just a nuisance — it could be a sign that you’ve contracted COVID-19. What should you do? If you run to your doctor, you risk exposing the disease to more people, but if you wait it out, you could grow fatally ill.
First, it’s important to note that the CDC recommends that anyone who develops the symptoms of COVID-19
, which include sneezing, coughing, fever, body aches, chills and shortness of breath, stay at home
. These symptoms appear within 2-14 days after exposure, though in some cases the incubation period was exponentially longer, at between 19 and 27 days.
If you came into close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 OR if you have recently traveled to an area with a widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, call your doctor right away.
If you don’t meet that criteria, what can you do?