Coronavirus infection: Symptoms and treatment
On this page
- About coronaviruses
- Coronavirus infection symptoms
- If you get a coronavirus infection
- How coronavirus infections are diagnosed
- Coronavirus infection treatment
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Some coronaviruses transmit between animals, some between animals and people, and others from people to people.
Symptoms of coronavirus infections
Coronavirus infections are common and typically lead to the common cold. Gastrointestinal disease is possible for young infants. Symptoms are usually mild to moderate and can include:
- runny nose
- sore throat
- a general feeling of being unwell
Although rare, other types of coronavirus infections cause illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) can produce more severe illnesses such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, kidney failure, or even death.
If you get a coronavirus infection
If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by doing the following:
- stay home while sick
- avoid close contact with others
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
- clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
How coronavirus infections are diagnosed
Coronavirus infections are diagnosed by a health care provider based on symptoms and laboratory tests.
In some cases, travel history may be important.
Coronavirus infection treatment
For now, there is no specific treatments for most people with coronavirus infection. Most people with common coronavirus illness will recover on their own. Your health care provider may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms.
Consult your health care provider as soon as possible if you are concerned about your symptoms or have a travel history to a region where severe coronaviruses are known to occur. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chances are for recovery.
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