According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals and humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

couple on couch, man coughing with possible fever

Symptoms of Coronavirus

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

women wearing masks shopping

How to Protect Yourself When Going Out

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Choose a mask with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric that fits snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Stay 6 feet apart and avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.
  • Avoid indoor spaces as much as possible, particularly ones that aren’t well ventilated. You may find it harder to stay 6 feet apart in indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

When to Seek Emergency Attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

women in bed sick

What to Do If You're Sick

  • Stay home except to get medical care. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and recover at home without medical care.
  • Isolate yourself from other members of your family to prevent spread to them and the people that they may have contact with, like grandparents. If you have to leave isolation, wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart from others, wash your hands frequently, and clean all touched surfaces.
  • Get care immediately if you are having emergency warning signs, like trouble breathing, pain, or pressure in the chest.

It is crucial to remember that even if you don’t feel sick, you can spread COVID-19 to others. Be sure that you protect everyone as though they are the most fragile person in your family.

Informational Resources

Lompoc Valley Medical Center encourages you to stay informed. Please use the links below for additional information. The CDC updates its website regularly as more information becomes available.

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Author: Jeremy Farnum, Information Systems

Jeremy works for Lompoc Valley Medical Center.