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In the News All Things COVID-19 – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

(Symptoms continued…)

persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and/or pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the more severe symptoms listed above, please seek medical care immediately.

Looking over the signs and symptoms, many people wonder, “How do I know if it’s the cold/flu or COVID/Omicron?” Both the flu and Omicron are highly contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses.

According to the CDC, “COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.”

Testing is the most accurate way to determine if you have COVID-19, and there are many ways to test, different types of tests and different regulations regarding testing and their results. So, the best way to figure out who should test, when you should test and what you should do after testing is to check your local government’s website for the appropriate response.

One of the best ways to avoid Omicron and other COVID-19 variants is to use proper hygiene. It seems obvious, sure, but it is still the number one way to avoid illness.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, coughing or sneezing, using the restroom and before handing food – whether you are making something to eat or eating. The CDC says, that “If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. And avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.”

Masking, whether you are vaccinated or not, is also another major way to help stop the spread of COVID-19. (cont’d.)