Covid-19: Health

Courtesy of the Oklahoma State Department of Health

Protect yourself

Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people with Covid-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have Covid-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Covid-19.

CDC recommendations

To help reduce the chance of infection, the   Centers for Disease Control   recommends:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer when washing is not possible
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you can, especially when you are sick
  • Wear a face mask when in public
  • Call ahead before you seek medical care
  • Throw used tissues in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
Testing

Anyone who suspects they may have Covid-19 should contact their primary care provider or hospital by phone prior to seeking treatment. Before seeking treatment, call ahead so they can prepare for your arrival.

For more information, contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline at 877-215-8336 or 211 for cell phones, the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control.

Mental health services available

Grand Lake Mental Health Center is offering the following services for those in need:

  • We can get you set up for services without having to see you in person.
  • We can drop off an iPad at your home to connect your family to face-to-face counseling services whenever you need them.
  • We can provide counseling services over the phone.
  • We can get you set up with a medication appointment within 2-weeks of starting services.

To start services or for more information, visit www.glmhc.net or call 918-273-1841. Evenings and weekends call 1-800-722-3611.

What is Covid-19?

According to the World Health Organization, Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Symptoms

Symptoms  of the highly contagious virus can range from mild to severe and can appear two to 14 days after exposure. They include cough, fever and shortness of breath.

Prevention

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Covid-19. The best way to protect yourself — and others — is to avoid being infected.

To do this, it is vitally important to regularly practice the following:

  • Stay home if you can
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently, and always immediately upon being in a public place
  • Practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet between you and other people
  • Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands
Information provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health:

Who is at higher risk?

People believed to be at higher risk of becoming critically ill from Covid-19 are:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

Because of this, the governor has issued a “Safer at Home” order for these individuals. Section 17 of the order states:

“Adults over the age of sixty-five (65) and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, collectively referred to as “vulnerable individuals,” shall stay in their home or place of residence except for working in a critical infrastructure sector, as more particularly described herein, and the conduct of essential errands. Essential errands shall mean those errands which are critical to everyday life and includes obtaining medication, groceries, gasoline, and visiting medical providers. The vulnerable population is encouraged to use delivery and/or curbside services whenever available.”

How it spreads

Covid-19 spreads primarily through person-to-person contact, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, it may be possible that a person can get Covid-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes Covid-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

What to do if you are potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (Covid-19)

If you think you have been exposed to someone with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19, follow the steps below to monitor your health and avoid spreading the disease to others if you get sick.

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)?

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new virus called SARS-CoV-2. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Most people with Covid-19 will have mild disease but some people will get sicker and may need to be hospitalized.

How do I know if I was exposed?

You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:

  • Living in the same household as a sick person with Covid-19,
  • Caring for a sick person with Covid-19,
  • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with Covid-19 for about 10 minutes, OR
  • Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with Covid-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).

If you have not been in close contact with a sick person with Covid-19, you are at low risk for infection. You can continue to go to work and school, but should monitor your health for 14 day ssince the contact and stay away from others if you get sick.

What should I do if I was in close contact with someone with Covid-19 while they were ill but I am not sick?

You should monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days.

What should I do if I was in close contact with someone with Covid-19 and get sick?

If you get sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are very mild), you likely have Covid-19. You should isolate yourself at home and away from other people. If you have any of the following conditions that may increase your risk for a serious infection —age 60 years or older, are pregnant, or have medical conditions — contact your physician’s office and tell them that you were exposed to someone with Covid-19. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for the virus.

If you do not have a high-risk condition but want medical advice, call your healthcare provider and tell them you were exposed to someone with Covid-19. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person or tested. There are currently no medications to treat Covid-19.

For emergencies, call 911. Tell the dispatcher that you may have been exposed to Covid-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.

Pregnant Women and Children

There is not currently information from published scientific reports about susceptibility of pregnant women to Covid-19. Pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including Covid-19.

According to the OSDH, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible to Covid-19. In fact, most confirmed cases of Covid-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. There is an ongoing investigation to determine more about this outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

For more information in helping children cope during and after a disaster, see https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/pdf/children-coping-factsheet-508.pdf