05 May Understanding the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Guide in Light of COVID-19
COVID-19 cases are increasing by the thousands daily as the pandemic spreads worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises the public to avoid nonessential travel, particularly international travel. To flatten the curve of the pandemic, it is important that society at large understand COVID symptoms and causes, as well as what precautions to take if they see such symptoms in themselves and others.
If you must travel, there are strict guidelines that need to be followed, as outlined below.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause illness to both animals and humans, with several known species of viruses that can cause respiratory infections. These infections come in the form of the common cold and can lead to more severe diseases, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The newest coronavirus is COVID-19, which the world is experiencing now.
What is COVID-19?
The most recently discovered species of the coronavirus is COVID-19. This pandemic originated in Wuhan, China in December of 2019. Currently, there are three million people infected globally.
What are COVID symptoms?
Those infected with COVID-19 show a wide array of signs and symptoms that range from mild to severe. Unfortunately, in severe cases, these symptoms can lead to death.
Symptoms may appear two to fourteen days after a person is exposed to someone with the virus. We have compiled a list of possible symptoms for you to review below.
The Most Common COVID Symptoms
- Frequent Coughing
- Dyspnea (Difficulty of Breathing; Shortness of Breath)
- Dry Cough
- Nasal Congestion
- Frequent Shivering or Chills
- Intense Headaches
- Sore Throat
- Loss of Taste
- Loss of Smell
Keep in mind that children experience the symptoms listed above, but often in a milder sense. Thus, if you see symptoms in your child, but they seem milder than one might expect, you should still treat the situation seriously.
The Most Severe COVID Symptoms
The following symptoms are considered severe. If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.
- Trouble Breathing
- Sharp Waves of Pain in the Chest
- Pressure in the Chest
- Cyanosis (Blue) on the Lips or Face
The above list is not all-inclusive. If you experience any symptoms that are outside of your normal, please consult a medical professional. Our office utilizes the Beam Health App so that you can send us secure questions as your concerns arise, and we can answer while maintaining social distancing protocol.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
Similarly to the cold or the flu, the primary source of infection for coronavirus is person to person contact. This contact, in the form of coughing, sneezing, or other droplet transmissions can spread coronavirus from one person to another. Additionally, when these droplets come into contact with other surfaces, they contaminate them. When another person comes into contact with the contaminated surface, they have not come into contact with the virus.
What Does the CDC Recommend in Regards to Travel?
The CDC, in conjunction with the US State Department, recommends that citizens suspend all international travel. They caution this due to the ease of exposure that travels experience while on airplanes, ships, trains, or buses. Additionally, the healthcare systems of many countries are overwhelmed and may not be able to see you if you find yourself experiencing symptoms.
However, if you must travel, the CDC recommends that you “avoid contact with sick people, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, and wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds.” They particularly caution that if you feel sick, it is critical that you avoid travel to keep yourself and those around you safe from harm.
If you have traveled internationally or plan to, the CDC recommends that you stay home, or self-quarantine, for two weeks in order to prevent spreading the disease.
Follow Precautions for Your Health and Others’ Health
Amidst this crisis, we should all do our part and practice proper hygiene. We must follow the CDC’s recommendations, with special regard to social distancing and self-quarantine regulations.
Consider taking a step to help your community by downloading the COVID Symptom Tracker App, which is structured to help slow the outbreak by taking data on symptoms as they appear in real-time. If you feel that you have any symptoms that could be relevant to coronavirus, please do not hesitate to reach out to your team at Pacific Coast Medical Group for further assistance.