Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions

The novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, is a virus that, for most people, causes mild, flu-like symptoms that do not require hospital treatment. It also seems to affect adults more than children. Here are answers to frequently asked questions.

Q: What should I do if my child may have been exposed to the new coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Please call your primary care doctor or pediatrician if you or your children have traveled internationally or been in contact with a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) patient AND have symptoms like fever, cough or chills.
  • It’s very important that anyone who thinks they may have the new coronavirus call ahead before going to see a doctor so they can assess the situation, direct you to the most appropriate place for evaluation and/or prepare for your arrival.

Q: What do I need to know about testing?

  • Testing guidelines are provided by the CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health. This means that there are certain criteria that need to be met at this point to receive a test. Your doctor will help explain how or when you might receive testing.

Q: What are the signs and symptoms for COVID-19 and how does it spread?

  • Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have mild respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. A smaller number of patients have severe symptoms requiring hospital treatment.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through coughs and sneezes. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

Q: What can we do to protect ourselves and our children?

  • Wash your hands thoroughly (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds) and often.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands after.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
  • Keep a safe distance from others who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desk, phones, keyboards, toilet, faucets and sinks.

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