Rely on Credible Sources for COVID-19 Information
If you or a loved one tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms, you want to know more. The natural response for all of us is to Google it.
“The coronavirus pandemic is a once-in-a-century experience so it garners a lot of attention and concern from people,” said Chad Thury, DO, family medicine physician at Avera Medical Group Family Health Center. “There’s a high risk of infection, many patients have been hospitalized and people have died either from the disease itself or from complications.”
Yet searching the internet for COVID-19 symptoms can lead you to jump to some scary conclusions, rather than what may be the reality for you or a loved one.
Where Can I Get Information About COVID-19?
If you have questions about your own health, it’s best to check in with your primary care provider. They’re medical professionals and know you better than any anonymous online writer. Not only do they have grounded, accurate information, but they are better able to share how a COVID-19 infection could affect your personal health.
The COVID-19 virus manifests itself very differently from person to person. Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all. Others have a mix of the common symptoms — cough, fatigue, fever, loss of taste and smell, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea, headache, muscle aches or shortness of breath. Symptoms range from very mild to severe.
“There are some similarities we see but there’s nothing you can read that will accurately predict how COVID-19 will play out for you or your loved one,” Thury said. If you have a personal question about your health and COVID-19, or about managing your COVID-19 symptoms, reach out to your provider through AveraChart.
“If you are over age 65 or have a chronic condition like COPD, asthma or diabetes, it’s a good idea to check in with your medical provider if you develop symptoms or test positive,” Thury said. Not everyone with COVID-19 will need hospital or clinic care. Many people can recover safely at home. “If you experience difficulty breathing or a very high fever, get help right away.”
People with mild cases typically recover in one to two weeks, but people with more severe illness may battle the disease for several weeks.
If you do turn to the internet, look to health-focused websites such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), advised Thury. “Our local hospitals, including Avera, have excellent information about COVID-19 for the public as well.”
What Information Do People Want About COVID-19?
Thury noticed the questions from his patients have changed over the course of the pandemic. Before, it was the curiosity surrounding the use of masks. Now, they are more interested in information regarding the vaccine as well as COVID-19 treatment and preventive options.
One treatment option Avera offers is antibody therapy. After these antibodies enter the body through an IV, they essentially attach to the spike protein of the COVID-19 virus and neutralize it. Monoclonal antibodies are better given early in the illness before one has been able to mount their own immune response.
“These antibodies are better given early in the course of illness in patients with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19,” said Thury. Those who are at high risk for severe illness should check with their primary care provider to see if antibody treatment is appropriate for you.
Remain cautious and vigilant about current circumstances and listen to what the local experts say: wear your mask, wash your hands, stay home when sick, and keep a hopeful and upbeat attitude.
You can learn more about testing for COVID-19 at Avera.org/covid-19, or by calling 1-877-282-8372. If you have emergency symptoms, such as shortness of breath, get help as soon as possible. You can also find a vaccine location near you.