Friend MIGHT be infected - what do I need to do?

Mar 13, 2020
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I have a friend who I had contact with about 48 hours ago, who has a sore throat and a cough, and who has now told me that she has a fever of 100.1 degrees.

-She claims that the cough is merely a result of her asthma and the fact that she smokes, as opposed to an infection (coronavirus, a cold, or anything inbetween).
-There is no apparent reason for her have contracted coronavirus. She lives an hour from the nearest confirmed case. (In fact she points out that if anything, *I'm* more likely to have infected *her* because I work in the area of said confirmed cases.)
-I currently have no symptoms.

It would seem that her cough alone isn't much to go on; what worries me is the fact that she now has a fever on top of that.

Given this, do I need to do anything (beyond what everybody should do)? Do I need to self-isolate? (I'm currently self-isolating as best I can but it's a pain because I don't live alone.) Do I need to stay home from work? I'm not working tomorrow (Friday) regardless, but I'd very much like to know if I need to stay home from work starting Monday.

I've called my local health network, but they were busy and I ended up leaving a voicemail. It's been hours and they still haven't gotten back to me, hence my trying to find answers online. Can anyone give me credible information about this situation? Thanks.
 

LCarlson

Administrator
Nov 12, 2019
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As an asthmatic myself, I can tell you that we are more susceptible to all colds and flus - they often go straight to our lungs and we take longer to recover.
Yes, asthma can cause coughing, but that's generally when we do not have it under control. The fact that she smokes as well cannot help. Smoker's cough is a real thing.

Having a chronic pulmonary disease also means we are in a higher risk group for a serious case of Covid-19, for the same reason - our lungs are weaker than the average due to years of asthma.
You cannot force your friend to go see a doctor, but it would be a very, very smart idea if she has a fever at this time, as she is part of a high risk group.

The important thing is not to panic. If you are not in a high risk group, your personal risk is very low.
Unless you know you've been exposed, just practice the safety protocols that have been laid out - lots of handwashing, avoid touching your face, and keep your time in public to a minimum. If you are worried that you have been exposed, same thing. Wash a lot after touching things. Avoid contact with your elderly friends and relatives.

If you develop symptoms, see your doctor.

There is a lot of common sense involved in this process.
Wishing you all the very best,
~LC
 
Mar 13, 2020
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Hi, thanks for the info. As far as my friend goes, she is already self-isolating. My inquiry was with regard to what I need to do given that I've had contact with her.

It sounds like you're saying I don't need to do anything drastic, but just to be clear, you're saying that:

-I don't need to stay home from work, and
-I can stop hiding in my room, and do things like go to the kitchen to make my own food instead of having people leave food outside of my door and leave before I open it.

Correct?

Also, is this just your opinion, or can you back this up somehow?

Thanks very much!
 
Mar 13, 2020
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There is a lot of common sense involved in this process.
On this note, while it is all very well to tell me to "not panic," when it comes to whether I can stop hiding in my room (which is the less important but a more immediate concern than whether I can go to work on Monday), I think that it will take stronger evidence to convince the people I live with than it will to convince me. So again, I'd appreciate it if you could point me towards or cite someone or something more credible that I can present them with than "some guy on the internet." Thanks again.
 

SHaines

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 12, 2019
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Hi, thanks for the info. As far as my friend goes, she is already self-isolating. My inquiry was with regard to what I need to do given that I've had contact with her.
Keep in mind that there's no one foolproof rule for how to behave in these situations (except for being extra vigilant in keeping your hands clean), so each individual situation will play out in different ways. We can help provide info based on our experiences and published info, but if you're looking for specialized advice from a medical professional on your specific situation, see if you are able to get an online video conference with a doctor or nurse.

Not everyone has that option, but if you do, you can get very specific information tailored to your explicit circumstance. Once they've looked into your issue they may decide to provide you with some additional guidance as far as going into your workplace.
 
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Mar 13, 2020
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I'm a confused, that live stream appears to have occurred yesterday. Is there another one? What are you directing me to?

We can help provide info based on our experiences and published info, but if you're looking for specialized advice from a medical professional on your specific situation, see if you are able to get an online video conference with a doctor or nurse.
I'm not looking for "specialized advice" from a "medical professional," I'm just looking for something with some amount of weight to it. I haven't been able to find the answer to this situation (what to do if I've had contact with someone who might be infected but I don't know whether they are); if I could find the answer to this in a FAQ or something from a credible source (like a major news outlet or a government website for example), that would be enough.

What is your "experience," and "what "published info" are you going off of? As it is, if I tell the people I live with that "somebody on the internet" said it's fine, they will say "that's worthless, they have no credentials, so all we have to go by is The Rules(TM) for self-isolation." So what are your credentials, or the credentials of the information you're going off of? I'm not looking for you to have a medical degree, I'm just looking for *something.*

You may think that what you've told me already is "common sense," but I'm not the one who needs to be convinced.
 

CParsons

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 4, 2019
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I'm not looking for "specialized advice" from a "medical professional," I'm just looking for something with some amount of weight to it. I haven't been able to find the answer to this situation (what to do if I've had contact with someone who might be infected but I don't know whether they are); if I could find the answer to this in a FAQ or something from a credible source (like a major news outlet or a government website for example), that would be enough.

The CDC has provided guidance on what actions to take if you have come into close contact with persons confirmed or suspected to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19. - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/guidance-prevent-spread.html.
 
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Mar 13, 2020
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The CDC has provided guidance on what actions to take if you have come into close contact with persons confirmed or suspected to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19. - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/guidance-prevent-spread.html.
The latter half of that is the best information I've found so far, thank you. Also, my friend says that their fever is now gone, so that helps a lot.
 
Mar 14, 2020
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On this note, while it is all very well to tell me to "not panic," when it comes to whether I can stop hiding in my room (which is the less important but a more immediate concern than whether I can go to work on Monday), I think that it will take stronger evidence to convince the people I live with than it will to convince me. So again, I'd appreciate it if you could point me towards or cite someone or something more credible that I can present them with than "some guy on the internet." Thanks again.

if you dont want to get this virus hide in your room for a long time. otherwise we are going to contract it and spread it, as you are contagious before symptoms occur. we will get it and not know it for like 5 days i think they said anywhere from 1 to 14 days. I need to go to work too, I dont have money for food. I dont have the right answer to everything but I know if i dont want to catch this I would have to avoid contact with other people.
 
Mar 13, 2020
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if you dont want to get this virus hide in your room for a long time. otherwise we are going to contract it and spread it, as you are contagious before symptoms occur. we will get it and not know it for like 5 days i think they said anywhere from 1 to 14 days. I need to go to work too, I dont have money for food. I dont have the right answer to everything but I know if i dont want to catch this I would have to avoid contact with other people.
The question was whether I need to hide literally in my room, as opposed to merely hiding in my house, in order to not *spread* the virus to the people who also live in my house.

The public advisory of "everybody please just stay inside," or at least my awareness of it, has increased substantially since I first created this thread. I stopped isolating myself in my room due to my personal situation after my previous post, but I am indeed going to be hiding in my house because of the general situation. As for going to work, my job involves going to schools and running workshops for kids; so it looks like my job is going to just stop for the next three weeks anyway.
 
Mar 15, 2020
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I have a friend who I had contact with about 48 hours ago, who has a sore throat and a cough, and who has now told me that she has a fever of 100.1 degrees.

-She claims that the cough is merely a result of her asthma and the fact that she smokes, as opposed to an infection (coronavirus, a cold, or anything inbetween).
-There is no apparent reason for her have contracted coronavirus. She lives an hour from the nearest confirmed case. (In fact she points out that if anything, *I'm* more likely to have infected *her* because I work in the area of said confirmed cases.)
-I currently have no symptoms.

It would seem that her cough alone isn't much to go on; what worries me is the fact that she now has a fever on top of that.

Given this, do I need to do anything (beyond what everybody should do)? Do I need to self-isolate? (I'm currently self-isolating as best I can but it's a pain because I don't live alone.) Do I need to stay home from work? I'm not working tomorrow (Friday) regardless, but I'd very much like to know if I need to stay home from work starting Monday.

I've called my local health network, but they were busy and I ended up leaving a voicemail. It's been hours and they still haven't gotten back to me, hence my trying to find answers online. Can anyone give me credible information about this situation? Thanks.
Hi. I'm sorry your friend is not well. The CDC states symptoms of SARS-COv-2 are DRY cough (meaning not productive and coughing up phlegm), fever and fatigue. 100.1 degrees is a low grade fever but it's telling her that her body is working to fight an infection of some sort. So, she needs to treat her symptoms, OTC meds for flu and aches, and drink plenty of water and take 4000mg of vitamin C every two hours and 10,000 units of D3 once a day. If she is on an inhaler like albuterol and symbicort....she needs to continue using them as prescribed by her doctor. If she develops a productive cough, sinus infection or has difficulty breathing then she needs to go to ER stat. Only a test kit for SARS-COv-2 showing positive can confirm infection. As for you the same applies even though you don't have asthma. So, treat your symptoms should they develop and if you have difficulty breathing get to ER stat. Good luck and take care.
 
Mar 14, 2020
6
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The question was whether I need to hide literally in my room, as opposed to merely hiding in my house, in order to not *spread* the virus to the people who also live in my house.

The public advisory of "everybody please just stay inside," or at least my awareness of it, has increased substantially since I first created this thread. I stopped isolating myself in my room due to my personal situation after my previous post, but I am indeed going to be hiding in my house because of the general situation. As for going to work, my job involves going to schools and running workshops for kids; so it looks like my job is going to just stop for the next three weeks anyway.
well staying in a separate room would be the best way to avoid it if you have to live in the same building
 

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