Although the disease is the largest news story of the day in April 2020, novel coronavirus is still being spread around the United States and the world. According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus include a dry cough and fever, but other flu-like symptoms may present themselves as well.

To combat coronavirus, steps have been taken by states and countries to reduce social contact by shutting down schools and businesses and encouraging people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. These efforts have been made to slow the spread of the virus while also allowing medical professionals to plan accordingly for an influx of patients.

Is Coronavirus Slowing Down?
As people have followed stay-at-home guidelines and maintained social distancing, a slowdown in coronavirus cases is occurring. As of April 2020, the spread of coronavirus continues, but it does seem to be slowing. There are a number of variables in the equation.  Analyzing raw numbers and data are accompanied by real-time discussions regarding anecdotal evidence in the care for patients.  Declining numbers over the course of a few days or even weeks are not a guarantee that the virus is dying out. In fact, pandemics often occur in waves, and this is the reason we are seeing continued stay-at-home orders and mandates requiring face masks and social distancing in public areas.

The goal of shelter-in-place orders is not to stop the virus outright. To do that, either everyone has to get the virus and build immunity to it, or a vaccine needs to be created.  It’s vital that we stagger the number of cases so that cases don’t spike, overwhelming hospitals and healthcare workers.

As a result, you may notice different states and countries showing numbers of confirmed cases dip and then rise back up. As of April 2020, it is still too early to tell how much the virus has slowed because a second wave could be in the works once restrictions ease. This can be a problem in and of itself because the numbers will always be behind when it comes to the spread of the virus. Some people acquire the virus and show no symptoms, so when they ignore the preventive measures, they may be potentially spreading the disease without knowing it. The number of cases and deaths may escalate as we ease restrictions and increase testing.

Seek Treatment Responsibly
If you believe that you have contracted coronavirus or you’re worried about being an asymptomatic carrier, the best thing you can do is to get tested; however, you should do this in a responsible manner to protect yourself and others. Many doctor’s offices and hospitals now have tests available that can offer results quickly, but if you have coronavirus, the last thing you want to do is to walk into a hospital or doctor’s office and spread the illness.

Instead, call ahead if you are not in need of immediate medical care. Tell the medical professional you speak with that you believe you have coronavirus and you would like to be tested at his or her facility. You will be asked to describe your symptoms, and you may be provided with a virtual visit with a doctor online to determine how likely you are to have coronavirus. From there, you will be instructed on where to go and how to minimize risk to the medical staff.  Keeping up-to-date with CDC guidelines can assist in bending the curve and decreasing the spread of the disease. Go to the CDC website to learn more about COVID-19.

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