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Is sneezing a symptom of COVID? What to do if you feel you've been exposed to coronavirus

If you feel you might have been exposed to someone with coronavirus, a lot of questions can begin to cloud your head. Dr. Shah of Thrive Alabama tells us what to do.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala — With President Trump's positive coronavirus diagnosis, more people have questions about the virus and what to do if you're exposed. Our team sat with a doctor to get the answers you need.

If you feel you might have been exposed to someone who is positive for coronavirus, a lot of questions can begin to cloud your head. Dr. Shah of Thrive Alabama tells us what we should keep in mind if we find ourselves in this situation. 


Dr. Shah says, “Folks in wanting to be vigilant might want to be tested immediately. But actually waiting five to eight days after exposure is the best chance of getting an accurate test. But, that doesn’t deny the need for quarantine.”

CDC guidelines say you should wait between five to eight days before getting tested to avoid any false negative results. It is important to note, there is a difference between being in quarantine and being in isolation. Dr. Shah tells our reporter, “The CDC has great information if you google ‘CDC isolation COVID that tells you some good ideas about isolation, having a separate bathroom, and how to go about isolation and separating yourself to make sure other high risk people might be safe in the home.” 

Once you do get tested, some may feel you’re in a bit of a grey area while you wait sometimes up to a few days on the test results. 

Dr. Shah says, during that time, it’s better to be safe than sorry. She adds, “While you’re waiting, if you do have a good history of exposure or are having symptoms, it is recommended that you go ahead and start quarantining. Anybody who has been exposed needs to go ahead and start quarantining. Separating from high risk people in their homes. You can take it as far as you need to into the isolation range while you’re waiting on that test.” 

Dr. Shah tells us about the distinction of being in 'isolation'. She says, “Once you’ve tested positive, you need to isolate instead of quarantine. That’s when you’re really going to try to separate from anyone else in your household. You’re going to not share kitchen utensils, have food outside your door, things like that.” 

So, how do you know when your quarantine or isolation period is over? 

Dr. Shah says, “If you’re symptomatic, you want to wait 10 days since your symptoms started. Then 24 hours being fever-free with symptoms improving. If you’re asymptomatic, and you were exposed by somebody and you got tested and the test came back positive… you need to wait 10 days since the test was positive since you don’t have the symptoms to go by.” 

If you feel you might’ve been exposed, you shouldn’t be out in public. But, Dr. Shah reminds us to wear our masks-- a clean one! And not to pull it down to talk or wear it below the nose. 

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