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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker
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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus. It is an illness that was first found in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has since spread worldwide.
The virus can cause fever, cough, and trouble breathing. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and make it hard to breathe without help. It can cause death.
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses. They cause the common cold. They also cause more serious illnesses like Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus. That means it's a new type that has not been seen in people before.
This virus spreads person-to-person through droplets from coughing and sneezing. It can also spread when you are close to someone who is infected. And it can spread when you touch something that has the virus on it, such as a doorknob or a tabletop.
The virus is diagnosed with a test that uses a swab of fluid from the nose or throat or sometimes uses sputum from the lungs. Other tests may be done, such as blood tests and CT scans of the lungs. But even if you don't have a test, a doctor may ask you questions and determine that you may have the virus.
Most people who get sick from the virus can recover at home. Your doctor may have you take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) for a fever. Treatment in the hospital for more serious cases includes support, such as help with breathing.
You can find the latest information from these sources:
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:
Your risk exposure to COVID-19 may include the following:
High-risk health problems may include:
Serious symptoms may include:
Emergency symptoms may include:
Based on your answers, you need to contact occupational health or risk management.
You may need information on how to self-isolate, take care of yourself, and monitor your symptoms.
Based on your answers, you need to follow all instructions in the public health notification.
Based on your answers, your risk for COVID-19 is low at this time.
To protect yourself and others:
If you live in group housing, such as a community shelter, be sure to follow instructions from the group housing staff. They can tell you how to stay safer in the shelter and how to keep others safe.
Be sure to follow all instructions from your local health authorities. These may include stay-at-home orders, guidelines for social distancing and face covers, and information about access to health care, COVID-19 testing, and other essential services.
Based on your answers, you should self-isolate in the place where you live.
If you develop a fever, cough, or trouble breathing, or your symptoms become worse, answer the symptom checker questions again or call your doctor or a local health clinic. You may need care.
Be sure to follow all instructions from your local health authorities. These may include stay-at-home orders, guidelines for social distancing and face coverings, and information about access to health care, COVID-19 testing, and other essential services.
Based on your answers, you may need care or testing.
Most people have a mild illness and are able to recover without medical care.
If your symptoms become worse, answer the symptom checker questions again or call your doctor or a local health clinic. You may need care.
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Based on your answers, you need to contact your residential caregivers or correctional or detention facility authorities.
Based on your answers, you need emergency care.
Call 911 or other emergency services now. Tell them you are worried about having COVID-19.
Wear a cloth face cover over your nose and mouth.
Sometimes people don't want to call 911. They may think that their symptoms aren't serious or that they can just get someone else to drive them. Or they might be concerned about the cost. But based on your answers, the safest and quickest way for you to get the care you need is to call 911 for medical transport to the hospital.
If you are sick with COVID-19, there is no medicine to fight the virus. But there are things you can do to reduce your symptoms and feel better while you recover at home.
Steps to take to avoid spreading the virus
If you develop a fever, cough, or trouble breathing, or your symptoms become worse, answer the symptom checker questions again or call your doctor. You may need care.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 during the outbreak, follow this advice:
Why do you need to call first?
If you leave home for care you don't need, you're putting other people at risk, including health care workers and other patients.
And if you DO need care, you need to let the doctor's office, clinic, or hospital know that you're coming. They may want you to use a special entrance or go to a special area. They'll probably remind you to wear a cloth face cover.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
Current as of:
June 18, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Heather Quinn MD - Family MedicineLesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: June 18, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
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