NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — This time last week, we were just ending our long Thanksgiving weekend. Today, experts say, is a good time to make sure you're still COVID-19 free.
Anyone experiencing symptoms should get a COVID-19 test, as well as anyone who's been exposed to the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says if you get infected with the virus, you could start to see symptoms anywhere between two and 14 days after exposure. Some of those symptoms include fever, shortness of breath and fatigue.
Many experts have said the worst of the pandemic is yet to come.
Even with a vaccine on the horizon, Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. David Aronoff says we need to continue to do the things necessary to prevent the spread.
“We know how to do that. We have to keep distance between ourselves and others. We have to wear cloth face coverings when we’re in public places and can’t socially distance and we need to of attention to hand hygiene,” said Dr. Aronoff.
Dr. Aronoff says a spike is very concerning because it could impact bed availability at hospitals and staffing.
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See all our coronavirus coverage here
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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.
What are the symptoms?
The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of the following symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.
The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.