Coronavirus FAQ: Here’s what you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has prompted many to take precautions to safeguard their health. It has also raised questions regarding the severity of the virus, who is or isn’t impacted, and just how serious of a health risk it may be.

Here are answers to some commonly raised questions:

What exactly are the symptoms?

Fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms sometimes don’t show for two to 14 days after infection.

How do you prevent exposure?

Since there is no vaccine for COVID-19, the best ways to prevent exposure are avoiding contact with people who are sick, regularly and effectively washing your hands, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, covering sneezes and coughs with tissues, and staying at home if you are sick.

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What exactly should I do if I become ill with coronavirus symptoms?

If you display coronavirus symptoms, you should contact a local health organization and make them aware of your condition prior to arrival while also following specific instructions or guidelines they may have. It may also be beneficial to wear a face mask prior to an appointment. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 and let them know if you have been infected or believe that you may be.

Will I be quarantined?

If you are infected, a medical professional or another authority will likely advise that you remain isolated while sick. This includes staying at home and not going into public places or large events.

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Is there a need to stock certain items at home?

While there have been reports of consumers buying items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper in bulk, it can help to purchase items like water, nonperishable foods, toiletries and emergency supplies in case you need to remain isolated. 

Should I take over-the-counter flu medicine?

Because COVID-19 is a new condition, conventional flu medicine would not be effective.

Should people be tested at some point after they have recovered in order to go back to work?

Those who have been infected and are close to recovery or have recovered should contact a medical professional to ensure it is safe for them to return to work.

Can you get this virus again?

Sadly, yes. There have been reported cases of individuals who have recovered from the virus, only to become reinfected. And since there is no vaccine yet, the only way to potentially prevent infection is through proper hygiene and staying away from sick people.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.