What to do if I am Exposed FAQs – Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

1. What should I do if I have symptoms and think I may have been exposed to novel coronavirus?

Most people with respiratory infections like colds, the flu, and coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will have mild illness and can get better with appropriate home care and without the need to see a provider. People who are elderly, pregnant, or have a weak immune system, or other medical problems, are at higher risk of more serious illness or complications. It is recommended that you monitor your symptoms closely and seek medical care early if your symptoms get worse.

If you are having difficulty breathing or keeping fluids down, go to an emergency room or call 911. Otherwise, it is better to call your doctor before going in to seek care.

You should also call a doctor if you have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19.

2. What should I do if I have no symptoms and think I may have been exposed to novel coronavirus?

If you are not sick, there is no need to do anything other than practice every day daily prevention and monitor yourself for symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever and cough. Should you become ill, follow the guidance in the section above.

Everyday personal prevention actions include:
• Stay home when you are sick. Stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or symptoms of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
• Limit close contact with people who are sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

3. Can I get tested for the novel coronavirus?

If you are sick, your health care provider may decide to do a test for coronavirus. Only health care providers can test for COVID-19. Since most people will get better with rest and time, there is no need to see a doctor if you have mild symptoms. If you are sick and think you should be tested for COVID-19, call your doctor before going in for care.

4. How is novel coronavirus treated?

There is no specific treatment for illness caused by the novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. There is currently no vaccine to prevent novel coronavirus. Be aware of scam products for sale that make false claims to prevent or treat this new infection.

County of Los Angeles Public Health

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