Covid & Telehealth

COVID-19 is a contagious disease caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome CoronaVirus2 strain (SARS-CoV-2).

The disease is mainly transmitted via air when people breathe in droplets that infected people release, as they breathe, talk, cough or sneeze. Infected people are more likely to transmit COVID-19 when they are physically close to others however infection can also occur over longer distances. Infectivity begins as early as three days before symptoms appear, and people are most infectious just prior to and during the onset of symptoms. It declines after the first week, but infected people remain contagious for up to 20 days. People can spread the disease even if they are asymptomatic.

The severity of COVID-19 varies. As it is known this virus spreads rapidly and is decidedly transmittable, most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Mild cases typically recover within two weeks, while those with severe or critical diseases may take three to six weeks to recover. In 3–4% of cases (7.4% for those over age 65) symptoms are severe enough to cause hospitalization and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.


Symptoms of COVID-19 are variable, but often include fever, cough, headache, fatigue, breathing difficulties, tiredness and loss of smell and taste. Approx 81% develop mild to moderate symptoms (up to mild pneumonia) while 14% develop severe symptoms (shortness of breath, hypoxia, or more than 50% lung involvement on imaging) and 5% suffer critical symptoms (respiratory failure, shock, or multiorgan dysfunction).

Symptoms may begin 1 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. At least a third of people who are infected do not develop noticeable symptoms.


Several testing methods have been developed to diagnose the disease. The standard diagnostic method is by detection of the virus’ nucleic acid by real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), Transcription-mediated Amplification (TMA), or by Reverse Transcription Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) from a nasopharyngeal swab. Along with laboratory testing, chest CT scans may be helpful to diagnose COVID-19 in individuals with a high clinical suspicion of infection.


If you believe you are experiencing any symptoms related to Covid-19 it is best to schedule a telehealth visit with a healthcare provider at CareFirst. You can connect with the doctor over the mobile, tablet or computer to receive effective care from the convenience of your home. All you need to do is login using your smartphone, mobile or computer, Schedule a visit with the doctor at a convenient time that works best for you and thereafter receive one on one consultation with the doctor. While there is no specific treatment or cure for COVID-19 however doctors may suggest supportive care that includes medication such as Paracetamol or NSAIDs to relieve symptoms (fever, body aches, and cough), proper intake of fluids, rest, and nasal breathing. Good personal hygiene and a healthy diet are also recommended. People with more severe cases may need treatment in hospital.


Those diagnosed with COVID-19 or who believe they may be infected are advised to stay home except to get medical care, maybe scheduling a telehealth visit over the mobile with a healthcare provider, and when in any room or vehicle with another person, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, regularly wash hands with soap and water and avoid sharing personal household items.

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