What should you do if you think you have coronavirus?

Symptoms can range from minor to serious and often include a dry cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath.
Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 12:07 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As the number of coronavirus cases in Kentucky and Indiana increases, the advice health experts are giving out remains the same. Among the tips at Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Monday evening press conference and others: Don’t panic, practice good personal hygiene and be aware of social spacing.

"It is important for us to do a thorough handwashing," Dr. Muhammad Babar, an internist with UofL Health Physicians, said. "We need to scrub our hands for 20 seconds."​

Babar said those who've traveled to places with significant outbreaks or who have made close contact with people diagnosed with the coronavirus have the highest risk of contracting it.

Symptoms can range from minor to serious and often include a dry cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath.

So, what happens if someone starts showing signs of what might be the coronavirus?

"My main message is, to whatever degree you're ill, please, please avoid contact with other people," Mary Rademaker, the Norton Healthcare Immediate Care Center executive medical director, said. "The main thing that we want to do is contain the virus."​

Rademaker said the same advice goes for people with illnesses like the flu, too. ​

She said if symptoms are getting serious and someone needs immediate care, they should reach out for it. However, if that's not the case, call ahead to schedule an appointment with a doctor. ​Through phone calls to a primary care provider and telemedicine, like Norton's eCare system, health workers can help tell people if they need to physically come into a location and how to do it safely.

People can also be screened for risk criteria listed by state and federal health authorities.

Rademaker said the coronavirus outbreak situation is constantly changing, but this is one way you can help healthcare providers help you.

"It really is evolving sometimes hour-by-hour, what our plans are going to be," she said. "So, we can be as prepared as possible to care for the community as best we can."

Those with Norton also said that they are getting a lot of calls from people who don’t have any symptoms but are concerned about the coronavirus. Caretakers said to leave those calls to the Kentucky Department for Public Health COVID-19 hotline at (800) 722-5725 or find information on their website.

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