Disease Expert: What To Do If You Think You've Been Exposed To Coronavirus

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, more than 1,000 people have been under quarantine in Massachusetts. More than half of them have completed their quarantines.

But what should you do if you feel ill? WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal checked in with Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital, for some guidance.

First of all, Dr. Kuritzkes said, don't freak out. Call your doctor, and don't go to the emergency room unless you're in a high-risk group.

"We don't want to be spreading the infection any further," he said. "Certainly call your healthcare provider and get some medical advice, but unless you're having a significant cough and feeling short of breath where you actually need medical care, then you should stay away [from the hospital]."

He said being at the same event as a confirmed coronavirus case doesn't mean you have to remove yourself from society. It depends: were you in a lecture hall, or a small classroom, for example?

"It's important to remember that this infection spreads by droplet, and not airborne spread," he said. "So if you're at one end of a large auditorium and that person's at the other end of a large auditorium, the chances of that kind of contact leading to a transmission are extremely low. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen."

In the meantime, Dr. Kuritzkes says, "it really does come down to washing your hands."

If you're subjected to quarantine, stay in—Dr. Kuritzkes says the vast majority of people will be okay.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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