Know When to Go to the Emergency Department for COVID Concerns

Emergency Physicians Clarify Whether to Manage COVID at Home or Seek Emergency Care

  • 11 January 2022
  • Author: Lauren Myers
  • Number of views: 699
Know When to Go to the Emergency Department for COVID Concerns

If you think you have COVID-19 or may have been in close contact with somebody who has the virus, it is time to get tested and contact a primary care physician to discuss treatment options. Emergency physicians report that common symptoms associated with the Omicron variant include head or body aches and similarities with the common cold but may not include loss of sense of taste or smell. Symptoms consistent with COVID-19, regardless of variant, include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Consider managing mild or moderate symptoms at home, similar to the way a cold or flu is treated, with over-the-counter medication as directed by a primary care physician. If positive for COVID, follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for isolation or quarantine.

Call 911 or go to the emergency department for severe illness, difficulty breathing, intense chest pain, extreme weakness, or disorientation, especially for those at high risk of COVID complications, which includes anyone older or with a weakened immune system.

Emergency physicians remind everyone that it is still important to observe local safety guidelines and take all available precautions to avoid getting or spreading the virus. Wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces, social distance, regularly wash hands,

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