The Powerfull Ways to Treat Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Types

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as 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.  
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. 
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Recognizing the Symptoms

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    Look out for a cough that may or may not produce mucus. While coronavirus is a respiratory infection, it doesn’t cause as many symptoms as infections like the common cold or the flu. Coughing is a common symptom, which may or may not bring up phlegm. Call your doctor if you have a cough and have recently traveled (especially to China[1], South Korea[2], Italy[3], Iran[4] or Europe[5]) or come into contact with someone who might be infected.[6]
    • If you’re coughing, cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve so others won’t get infected. You may also wear a surgical mask to trap droplets that might infect others.
    • While you’re sick, stay away from people who are in high-risk groups for infection and complications, such as people who are 65 and older, babies, children, pregnant women, and people who are taking medication to suppress their immune system.

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    Take your temperature to see if you have a fever. The new strain of coronavirus typically causes a fever. Use a thermometer to check your temperature to see if it’s 100.4 °F (38.0 °C) or higher, which means you have a fever. Contact your doctor if you develop a fever to find out what’s causing it, and stay home aside from getting medical care.[7]
    • When you have a fever, you’re likely contagious with whatever illness you have. Protect others by staying home.
    • Keep in mind that a fever is a symptom of a lot of illnesses, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you have coronavirus.
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    See your doctor immediately if you have shortness of breath. The final common symptom of the new strain of coronavirus is shortness of breath. Since breathing issues are always a serious symptom, visit your doctor, an urgent care center, or the emergency room immediately to get the treatment you need. You may have a serious illness, whether or not it's coronavirus.[8]
    • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this strain of coronavirus can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia. See your doctor immediately if you’re having any breathing issues just to be safe.[9]
    Warning: People with weakened immune systems or pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, are especially vulnerable to potentially deadly coronavirus infections.[10] Babies and elderly people are also at risk of developing complications, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.[11] If you or someone you care for are at risk, take special care to avoid exposure to infected people or animals.

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    Recognize that it’s likely not coronavirus if you have other symptoms. As of March 2020, the CDC and WHO both report that the common symptoms of coronavirus include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Other respiratory symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, headache, or body aches likely mean you have a more common respiratory infection, such as the common cold or the flu. Check with your doctor if you’re worried about your symptoms.[12]
    • It’s understandable that you’d be worried, but try to remember that it’s unlikely that you have coronavirus if you have symptoms other than fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Getting Medical Care

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    Call your doctor right away if you think you have a coronavirus infection. Take your symptoms seriously if you think it’s possible you’re sick, as a severe coronavirus infection can become life-threatening. Call your doctor to find out if they think you need to be tested for coronavirus. Tell them about your symptoms and if you’ve recently traveled, come into contact with someone who may be sick, or come into contact with a possibly infected animal. Follow your doctor’s advice to either come in for testing or stay home and monitor your symptoms.[13]
    • Let your doctor’s office staff know that you think you may have a coronavirus infection before you arrive. That way, they can take precautions to prevent you from potentially spreading the disease to other patients.

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    Allow your doctor to test you for a coronavirus infection. If your doctor thinks you may have coronavirus, they’ll likely quarantine you in their office or the hospital while you’re being tested. Then, they’ll contact the CDC if you’re in the United States or your country’s national public health center if you’re outside the United States. Your doctor or a public health expert will swab your mucus or do a blood draw to test for coronavirus.[14]
    • It’s possible that your doctor will allow you to self-quarantine at home, depending on the situation. However, you will likely be isolated to prevent coronavirus from spreading to other patients.
    • Your doctor cannot test your sample in their office. The CDC or national health organization will take over to do the testing.

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    Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions carefully. There’s no specific treatment for coronavirus infections yet. It is a viral infection that cannot be cured with antibiotics. If your doctor diagnoses you with a coronavirus, they will likely send you home unless you have severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Ask them for instructions on how to care for yourself and prevent the disease from spreading to others.[15]
    • Your doctor may prescribe or recommend medications to treat your symptoms. There are no medications that can kill or cure the virus itself, so all you can do is take care of yourself and wait for it to run its course.
    • Ask your doctor about what to expect and when or if you should return for further treatment (e.g., if your symptoms get worse or if new symptoms develop).

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    Stay home and rest as much as possible. Getting plenty of rest is vital for helping your body fight the infection and recover. Additionally, staying home will help prevent you from spreading the infection to others. While you’re infected, stay home from work or school and avoid strenuous activities around the house. Get as much sleep as you can.[16]
    • Ask your doctor for advice about when you can return to your regular activities. They may recommend waiting for up to 10 days or even longer after your symptoms have cleared up.[17]

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    Take over-the-counter medications to manage pain and fevers. If you have symptoms such as body aches, headaches, or a fever, you can get relief with medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or naproxen (Aleve). If you are over 18, you can also use aspirin as a pain reliever and fever reducer.[18]
    • Never give aspirin to children or teens under 18, since it can cause a potentially fatal condition called Reye’s Syndrome.
    • Always follow the dosing instructions on the label or given to you by your doctor or pharmacist. Before taking any medication, let your doctor know if you are pregnant or nursing.

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    Use a humidifier to ease your cough. A humidifier can help soothe your throat, lungs, and nasal passages, which can ease coughing. Additionally, it helps thin out mucus so your coughs are more productive. Set one up by your bed at night and wherever you spend most of your time resting during the day.[19]
    • Taking a hot shower or sitting in the bathroom with the shower running can also bring relief and help loosen up mucus in your lungs and sinuses.

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    Drink plenty of fluids. It’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re sick. While you’re recovering from a coronavirus, keep sipping on water, juice, or other clear fluids to fight dehydration and loosen up congestion.[20]
    • Warm liquids, such as broth, tea, or warm water with lemon, can be especially soothing if you have a cough or sore throat.

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    Get emergency care if you develop severe symptoms. Try not to worry, but coronavirus can cause serious symptoms and you may develop pneumonia, which can be life-threatening. Go to the emergency room or call for help if you develop severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain when you breathe.[21]
    • The most common complication of coronavirus infections is pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain, coughing, high fever with shakes or chills, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and nausea or vomiting.[22]

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    Wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap. Hand-washing is the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus and other diseases. Use warm water and soap frequently throughout the day to clean your hands, especially after touching surfaces in high-traffic areas (such as doorknobs in public bathrooms or handrails on trains and buses) or potentially infected people or animals. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and be sure to clean between your fingers.[23]
    • To ensure you’re washing long enough, try singing the “Happy Birthday” song while you wash your hands.

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    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Respiratory viruses like those in the coronavirus family get into your body through the mucous membranes in your eyes, nose, and mouth. You can protect yourself by keeping your hands away from your face, especially if you haven’t washed them recently.[24]

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    Clean and disinfect all objects and surfaces, both at home and in public. For general disease prevention, clean high-touch surfaces daily to help limit the spread of illnesses. Use 1 cup (240 ml) of bleach mixed with 1 gallon (3.8 L) of warm water or a disinfectant wipe or spray to keep things clean. Make sure the surface stays wet for about 10 minutes for the disinfectant to work effectively.[25]

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    Avoid contact with people who are ill. Coronavirus spreads from droplets produced by an infected person. You can easily breathe in these droplets after a sick person coughs. If you see that someone is coughing or they tell you they’ve been sick, kindly and respectfully move away from them. Additionally, try to avoid the following methods of transmission:[26]
    • Having close personal contact with an infected person, such as hugging, kissing, shaking hands, or being close to them for a long period of time (e.g., sitting next to them on a bus or plane)
    • Sharing cups, utensils, or personal items with an infected person
    • Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after touching an infected person
    • Having contact with infected fecal matter (for example, if you changed the diaper of an infected baby or toddler).

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    Stay away from farm animals and wild animals. Many coronaviruses are spread from animals to humans. If you come into contact with animals of any type, especially in areas where coronaviruses are a problem, always wash your hands carefully.[27]
    • Be especially careful to avoid contact with animals that are obviously sick.
    • Coronavirus transmission between animals and humans is considered rare, but it may still occur if the virus evolves.

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    Cook meat and other animal products thoroughly. You can get coronavirus infections and other diseases from consuming contaminated or poorly prepared meat or milk. Avoid eating raw or unpasteurized animal foods, and always wash your hands and any surfaces or utensils that have come into contact with raw or untreated meat or milk.[28]

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    Cover your mouth whenever you cough and sneeze if you’re infected. People with coronavirus infections spread it by coughing and sneezing. If you have the virus, you can keep other people safe by using a tissue, handkerchief, or face mask to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.[29]
    • Throw away any used tissues immediately and then wash your hands in warm soap and water.
    • If a coughing or sneezing fit catches you by surprise or you don’t have a tissue on hand, cover your nose and mouth with the crook of your elbow instead of your hand. This way, you’re less likely to spread the virus around when you touch things.

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    Pay attention to travel advisories if you plan to visit other countries. If you’re planning to travel abroad, visit your country’s travel website to find out if any dangerous strains of the coronavirus are active in the area you plan to visit. You can also check the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for information. These websites can offer advice about how to protect yourself while you travel.[30]
    • In general, it’s safe to travel to most places in the world. However, you might be at risk if you’re traveling somewhere there’s a coronavirus outbreak, primarily China[31], South Korea[32], Italy[33], Iran[34] or Europe[35].
    • The CDC and several other health organizations around the world are currently monitoring an outbreak of COVID-19 that originated in Wuhan City, China. As of February 2020, the CDC recommends that you avoid nonessential travel to China. If you must travel to China, avoid contact with animals, animal markets, and sick people.[36]

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