Like many communities in Idaho and throughout the nation, we at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine are aware of the changing landscape associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
For up-to-date information on the number of confirmed and probable cases in Idaho, visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/
At ICOM, we are proactively engaged in pandemic planning in collaboration with our public health partners. This includes everything from preservation of staffing resources, to enhancing protocols and coordinating efforts to isolate sick and quarantine at-risk individuals.
Campus leadership is regularly meeting to develop and review plans regarding the coronavirus. Preparations include assisting and supporting impacted members of the ICOM community and ensuring that the college meets teaching obligations.
What is coronavirus?
There are many kinds of coronaviruses, like the common cold, currently circulating in the U.S. that cause respiratory illness. While these viruses may also be called coronaviruses, they are not COVID-19. COVID-19 is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that is a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, runny nose, cough, and difficulty breathing. For most, the symptoms are mild. However, some people, especially those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.
Like any other virus, no identity, community, ethnic or racial group is more at risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.
Protecting Your Health
You can protect yourself from coronavirus the same way you protect yourself from other viruses with a few commonsense practices. These include:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often
- Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible
- Stay home when you are sick
When to Seek Medical Care
Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. If they feel you should be seen by medical personnel, we request that you call ahead to the health care center where you will be going so they can take precautions and not potentially expose other patients to COVID-19.
Treatment for this COVID-19 is similar to treatment for other respiratory illnesses. There is no vaccine or cure, so health professionals treat the symptoms as best they can.