Coronavirus: What You Need To Know

Since 2001, Oxygen Concentrator Store has been dedicated to promoting the health of individuals affected by COPD, emphysema, and other respiratory and lung conditions. As COVID-19, or Coronavirus, continues to spread across the U.S, Oxygen Concentrator Store is doubling down on our mission to help make life easier for individuals in need of oxygen therapy. We’ve compiled research from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to help you better understand COVID-19, how it could affect you, and how to protect your health during these uncertain times.

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus is an umbrella term that refers to common viruses that all cause upper respiratory symptoms but range in severity from the common cold to severe disease. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, meaning we’ve never seen this type of virus before. First identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the virus has since spread to every continent except Antarctica. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially recognized COVID-19 as a pandemic.

What Are The Symptoms Of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms can appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure. The virus results in mild to severe respiratory symptoms and the severity can vary greatly depending on age or preexisting health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, weakened immune systems and lung disease.

Who Can Get COVID-19?

While all individuals can catch COVID-19, individuals living in locations where the disease is spreading rapidly are at a higher risk. In general, the virus’s symptoms are mild, especially for children and young adults. However, for about 1 in 5 people, the illness can be more severe and require hospital care.

How To Protect Yourself From COVID-19

Older individuals and people with lung conditions are at a higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms, and should take the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face as much as possible
  • Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces in your home or office
  • Avoid all non-essential travel, including cruises and flights
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance from others in public
  • Distance yourself with “social distancing”
  • Avoid known triggers that worsen your lung condition
  • Hand sanitizer made with at least 60% alcohol

What You Need to Know About Handwashing

If you fall into an at-risk population, social distancing becomes even more important to maintaining good health. Since the severity of symptoms varies so much, and symptoms can appear so late after exposure, it’s possible to come in contact with someone infected by COVID-19 without either of you knowing.

What To Do If You’re Sick

If you believe you have COVID-19, stay home. Do not visit public areas or leave your home except to get medical care. Call your doctor before you come in so they can give you instructions on how to get tested for COVID-19. After you’re tested, it may take several days to receive your results. During this time, separate yourself from other family members in your home as much as possible and cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Then, immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to prevent spreading the illness. Closely monitor your symptoms and be sure to seek emergency medical attention if you think your symptoms have worsened or become life-threatening.

Treatment Options

Since there is no vaccine to protect against or cure COVID-19, the best way to protect yourself against catching the illness is by taking preventative measures, like washing your hands or using hand sanitizer and practicing social distancing.

A Note About Mental Health

Social distancing can take a toll on your mental health, but remember: social distancing doesn’t mean you need to completely isolate yourself in every way. It just means you’ll need to adjust how you interact with friends and family. Familiarize yourself with video technology like FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype and arrange regular video calls with your loved ones. Reach out to family members and friends you haven’t spoken to recently and use this time to catch up over the phone. In times like this, keeping your social ties strong (even without in-person interaction) is crucial to maintaining your mental health and happiness.


About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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