This time of year not only is the weather changing, but seasonal respiratory illnesses are beginning to show up. Right now, Colds, Allergies, Influenza and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) are starting to appear in addition to COVID having been present for over a year now.
While Maricopa County is seeing a twelve percent positivity rate for COVID, Wickenburg and its surrounding areas is at eleven percent. When investigating the positive cases for Covid we are seeing that the top three risk factors for patients developing COVID may be related to: (1) Travel – often outside the state of AZ (2) Exposure to a COVID positive person without implementing self-quarantine guidelines (3) more children have been positive since reporting back to in-person schooling without mask or hand hygiene protocols being enforced.
We would like to review the symptoms of COVID and when you should seek medical attention.
Symptoms and Risk:
If you’re experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, you may feel like you need to get tested for COVID-19, or coronavirus, to ease your mind. 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 or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:
• Fever or chills
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Muscle or body aches
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
In some instances, people infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms or symptoms are so mild they don’t feel sick. That’s why it is so important for all of us to stay home as much as possible, avoid gatherings of 10 or more, and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of the virus.
For most of us with mild symptoms, getting tested won’t change our treatment. Whether you have another flu-like virus or COVID-19, the vast majority of people do very well recovering at home and symptoms can be treated with over-the counter medicines. Adults over age 65 and people of any age with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are at higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19.
It’s important EVERYONE take prevention steps to help stop the spread:
• Wear a face covering in public spaces
• 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 cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you feel like your symptoms are worsening, especially if you have difficulty breathing seek medical attention.
In adults, emergency warning signs include*:
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
• New confusion or inability to arouse
• Bluish lips or face
* This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms and any recent travel. This will help them prepare for your arrival so that they can take steps to reduce symptom exposure to themselves and other patients.