Kalispell,
13
March
2020
|
03:11 PM
America/Denver

What you should know about COVID-19 (coronavirus)

We are consistently evaluating new information and coordinating emergency preparedness and communications for our community, as the risk and information may change daily with this rapidly evolving situation. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review the latest updates on the virus. 

What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a novel (meaning new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold.​ This virus has not previously been seen in humans before December 2019, and was contracted through animal-human contact. 

How does the virus spread?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is spreading from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes within a six-feet of someone. It also may be possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

What are the symptoms?

The illnesses has ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases world-wide.

The following symptoms appear within 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Mild to severe respiratory illness
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

What populations are most at risk?

  • Anyone under 5 or over 65 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • People with a chronic medical condition or compromised immune system

What to do if you have these symptoms or think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

Call your doctor or medical provider and explain your condition, they will advise you on what to do next. Stay home and quartine yourself or sick family/household members except to get medical care.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

As this is a new disease, there are currently no approved medications to treat COVID-19. Most people with mild illness will recover on their own by drinking fluids, resting, and taking fever-reducing medications, as one would with a common cold. Some severe cases of COVID-19 may develop in pneumonia, which requires additional medical care or hospitalization.

How can you and your loved ones stay safe?

We are reminded that the best way to prevent the spread of illness is through preventive measures including:

  • Washing hands thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds.
  • Covering your cough.
  • Avoiding touching your face.
  • Staying home if you’re sick.
  • Social distancing: Avoid large gatherings and close contact with people who are ill.

It’s important to keep our hospitals safe and available for those who truly need to be there. Use telehealth services through krhcareanywhere.org or call our 24-hour call center at (406) 890-7272 as virtual triage to help determine the severity of your condition. 

Your health is our top priority. To keep our patients and staff safe, please review our visitor restrictions.

Learn more about COVID-19 at www.krh.org/COVID-19.