If you have shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, the thought of having coronavirus (COVID-19) may cross your mind. Shortness of breath is a serious symptom of COVID-19. The other symptoms include fever, sore throat, runny nose, headache and cough, which are similar to the cold or flu. The CDC describes shortness of breath symptom as an emergency warning sign, and you should seek medical attention immediately. This is due to inflammation in the lungs and the inability of oxygen to make its way to the bloodstream.
What are the emergency warning signs of COVID-19?
According to the CDC, the emergency warning signs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Bluish lips or face
These are indicators that you are not receiving enough oxygen and you should call 911 immediately. However, the list above does not include all the symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing any severe symptoms, call the Ochsner COVID-19 Info Line, our free nurse care line at 1-844-888-2772.
How can you protect yourself?
Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. The best way to prevent this respiratory disease is to avoid contact. Here are steps that you can take:
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your cough and sneeze inside your elbow
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
- Stay home and practice social distancing
For more information about COVID-19, visit our health resources website here.