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If you’re feeling down, whether with a stuffy nose, fever or something else — we encourage you to stay home, if possible. With coronavirus continuing to spread through our nation and flu season approaching, many people are stressed or worried at the thought of being near others, fearing it will bring on illness for themselves.
And while we know coronavirus and influenza are spread mainly through person-to-person contact, the germs can reach within about six feet, so if you’re feeling sick it is crucial to try to limit going to work.
If you think you’ve been exposed to coronavirus, whether through travel or another person, and you develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, it’s time to act. Call your primary care physician or closest urgent care or make an appointment for a video visit right away.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following precautions to those who are sick with coronavirus or suspect they may be infected:
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue
Disinfect all surfaces, including doorknobs, phones, remote controls, etc., regularly
Don’t share utensils, towels, sheets or clothing
Separate yourself from others in your home by using a different bathroom and sleeping space
Stay home, avoiding public areas and public transportation
Wash your hands often (for at least 20 seconds)
How Long Do I Have to Stay Home?
The CDC guidance for discontinuing isolation after infection with COVID-19 is once you have no fever for 24 hours without the use of any fever-reducing medication, your symptoms are improving, and at least 10 days have passed since the first onset of symptoms. If you had severe illness from COVID-19 (you were admitted to a hospital and needed oxygen), your health care provider may recommend that you stay in isolation for longer than 10 days after your symptoms first appeared (possibly up to 20 days).
If you’ve not been exposed to coronavirus, and have other illness symptoms, such as a runny nose, headache, body ache or sore throat, even though these are more likely associated with another illness, it is still very important to limit your contact with others.
Influenza and the Common Cold
Talk to your AdventHealth primary care physician or make an online appointment at a Centra Care Urgent Care to get a flu vaccine for the 2020–2021 flu season. Currently there are a low number of flu cases, but as we get further into the season, that number is expected to rise. According to our experts and the CDC, the best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine.
If you do contract the seasonal flu, the CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever goes away and as long as you have symptoms. Common flu symptoms often appear suddenly and include:
Muscle or body aches
Runny or stuffy nose
Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)
The common cold may involve a fever, but it usually has less severe symptoms that often only affect the upper respiratory tract, causing relatively minor sinus congestion, drainage and sometimes a related cough.
Coronavirus, on the other hand, can have a longer window between exposure and symptoms showing, which is currently thought to be anywhere from two to 14 days.
To be able to keep our community up to date with the latest coronavirus news, we’ve created a Coronavirus Resource Hub that includes answers to frequently asked questions.