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Article Type: Blog

Feeling Sick, But Not With COVID-19 Symptoms?

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It’s understandably nerve-wracking to  feel sick during the coronavirus pandemic, even if you don’t have any of the coronavirus symptoms of fever, dry cough or difficulty breathing.  

We’re here to help you understand what to do and how to take care of yourself if you don’t feel well during the pandemic, but don’t think you have COVID-19 symptoms, either.  

Know the Symptoms of COVID-19, and Other Illnesses 

It’s important to know the difference between the symptoms of a  cold, the flu and COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. When you’re familiar with these symptoms, you can begin to evaluate your own. 

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include: 

  • Cough  

  • Difficulty breathing 

  • Fever 

  • Vomiting and diarrhea (mostly in children) 

  • Loss of taste or smell  

  • Sore throat 

  • Headache 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a  coronavirus symptom self-checker tool  that can help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care.  

Signs of the seasonal flu include: 

•    Body aches 
•    Cough 
•    Feeling tired 
•    Fever  
•    Runny or stuffy nose 
•    Sore throat  

Symptoms of the common cold include: 

•    Body aches 
•    Cough 
•    Headache 
•    Runny nose 
•    Sneezing 
•    Sore throat 

If Your Symptoms Are Serious, Call Your Doctor 

If your symptoms seem more serious than what you’ve experienced before, you can make an appointment for a video visit with your doctor using the secure AdventHealth app.  You can also reach out to your primary care physician directly or schedule an appointment to visit an AdventHealth Centra Care for in-person care.  

For a video visit, access the AdventHealth app via a computer or mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone. Simply download the AdventHealth app from the  Google Play Store  or the  Apple App Store. Your physician can advise you  what to do next, based on what you’re experiencing and your overall health status.  

Manage Your Symptoms at Home 

If your symptoms are mild, you’ll likely be able to recover at home. Most people with cold and mild seasonal flu symptoms can get better on their own at home and don’t need medical care.  

To manage your symptoms at home, these tried-and-true tips may help you heal: 

  • Drink plenty of water and clear liquids to stay hydrated 

  • Eat nutritious meals 

  • Get as much rest as possible 

  • Monitor your symptoms daily 

  • Take your temperature, using an oral thermometer  

  • Try over-the-counter fever and cough medicines, if necessary 

For more ways to help yourself heal, read  how to care for yourself when you feel sick

Extra Precautions to Take if You’re Sick 

With the coronavirus pandemic in mind, you should also take extra precautions to keep yourself and the people around you safe. Be sure to: 

  • Avoid going to the pharmacy (the drive-thru is a better option) 

  • Clean high-touch surfaces in your home often 

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue 

  • Don’t share personal items with family members  

  • Keep 6 feet of distance between you and other family members 

  • Stay at home and away from others 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, for 20 seconds each time 

Seek Immediate Care Only in a Genuine Emergency 

If you’re caring for yourself or a family member at home and the symptoms get worse quickly, reach out for medical help. Keep in mind that the emergency room should be used only in a true emergency, and not for routine care. 

According to the  CDC, these signs of the flu signal a medical emergency: 

In adults: 

  • Difficulty breathing 

  • Fever or cough that improves then worsens  

  • Not urinating 

  • Persistent dizziness, confusion or the inability to arouse 

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or stomach area 

  • Seizures 

  • Severe muscle pain 

  • Severe weakness or unsteadiness 

  • Worsening of a chronic medical condition 

In children: 

  • Any fever in children younger than 12 weeks  

  • Bluish lips or face 

  • Chest pain 

  • Dehydration signaled by not urinating for eight hours, dry mouth, no tears when crying 

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing 

  • Fever higher than 104 degrees 

  • Fever or cough that improves, then worsens 

  • Not alert or not interacting while awake 

  • Ribs pulling in with each breath 

  • Seizures 

  • Severe muscle pain (a child might refuse to walk)  

  • Worsening of any chronic medical condition 

Prevention Is Key: Steps to Protect Yourself From Colds and the Flu 

Many of the  steps we’re taking to slow the spread of coronavirus  can also help prevent colds and flu. Take these steps to protect yourself and consider it healthy multitasking.  

Practice Good Respiratory Hygiene 

Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your upper sleeve and  teach your kids to do the same.  Like coronavirus, flu viruses spread in droplets when infected people sneeze or cough.  

Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. That’s how any cold, flu or coronavirus germs hitching a ride on your hands can make you sick.  

Practice Washing Your Hands Well 

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent coronavirus, cold and flu germs from entering your body.  

Disinfect High-Touch Surfaces Frequently 

Get in the habit of disinfecting surfaces and objects where cold and flu germs like to hide in plain sight. This includes floors, countertops, cutting boards, dishes, utensils, light switches, doorknobs, faucets and media remotes. Use  EPA-registered disinfecting cleaners  and paper towels to target these trouble spots. 

Get Your Flu Shot

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a seasonal flu shot. It lowers your likelihood of catching the flu, and makes it much easier to endure if you do happen to catch it. Everybody over age six months should get their flu shot every flu season. So if you haven't gotten your flu shot yet for the 2020–2021 season, get it now. 

Here for You and Your Family 

We’re here to help you get the routine and not-so-routine medical care you and your family may need. Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or at an AdventHealth Centra Care to get your flu shot or for any health care needs this flu season. 

 

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