What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness, fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Read more about COVID-19 Symptoms.
Should I be tested for COVID-19?
Call your health care professional if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or any symptoms associated with COVID-19 and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.
Your health care professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
How do you test a person for COVID-19?
State and local health departments who have identified a person under investigation (PUI) should immediately notify CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to report the PUI and determine whether testing for COVID-19 at CDC is indicated. The EOC will assist local/state health departments to collect, store, and ship specimens appropriately to CDC, including during afterhours or on weekends/holidays.
For more information on specimen collection see CDC Information for Laboratories.
Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?
Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.
For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.
Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups (create stigma) because of COVID-19?
People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.
Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.
Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.
How can people help stop stigma related to COVID-19?
People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.