Ask Your COVID-19 Questions Here

Symptoms, Tests, and Treatment FAQs

  • What’s the difference between community-based testing, local testing, pharmacy testing sites, and private testing sites?

    COMMUNITY-BASED TESTING SITES In partnership with FEMA, New Jersey has opened two community-based testing sites for any New Jersey resident who is experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. In o...
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  • What Is Contact Tracing? How Does It Stop The Spread of COVID-19?

    As part of the State's plan to safely restart the economy, we are implementing a comprehensive contact tracing program. For more information, visit the New Jersey Contact Tracing Information Page o...
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  • Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?

    No. According to the World Health Organization, antibiotics do not work against viruses. They only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibioti...
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  • Are there therapies available to treat COVID-19?

    Scientists are currently testing different types of antivirals that work against influenza, HIV, and even Ebola, to see if they are effective against COVID-19 virus. Remdesivir is the only treatmen...
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  • Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

    Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person's sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus...
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  • Can getting the flu shot, or vaccines against pneumonia, help ward off pneumonia brought on by COVID-19?

    There is no evidence that getting the vaccination against influenza will help against COVID-19. They are different viruses and the antibodies that protect us from one virus do not protect us agains...
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  • Do chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine help fight coronavirus?

    Based on the available data, hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for the coronavirus. A 96,000-patient observational study concluded that hydroxychloroquine had no effect on COVID-19, ...
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  • Does COVID-19 affect people with different blood types differently?

    There hasn't been enough research to conclusively say whether different blood types are more or less susceptible to COVID-19. There has only been one study that investigates the relationship betwee...
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  • How are suspected COVID-19 cases confirmed?

    People suspected of being infected by the COVID-19 virus will have respiratory samples (i.e. mucus) taken by healthcare professionals that will then be analyzed by public health labs, hospital labs...
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  • How can I take care of myself at home?

    If you have possible or confirmed COVID-19: Stay home from work, school, and away from other public places. If you must go out, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxi...
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  • How do antivirals work?

    Antivirals are a class of medications used for treating viruses. Viruses cannot reproduce on their own so to survive they seek out healthy cells in the human body and use these to make 'copies' of ...
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  • How do I know if I have the virus?

    Symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms consist of fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. If any of those symptoms occur, call your doctor to discuss next steps. Als...
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  • How do I treat the symptoms of someone who is sick at home?

    Make sure the sick person drinks a lot of fluids to stay hydrated and rests at home. Over-the-counter medicines may help with symptoms. For most people, symptoms last a few days and get better ...
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  • How do vaccines work?

    Vaccines work by imitating infection and stimulating a person's immune system to develop protections against a disease. Sometimes getting a vaccine can lead to mild symptoms of the disease, such as...
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  • How does a typical COVID-19 test work?

    The tests generally take a sample from a patient and process it so that the virus's specific genetic signature can be detected. Drafted 16 March 2020
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  • How does the CDC COVID-19 test work?

    CDC recommends collecting and testing a single upper respiratory swab from the nostril. This sample is then processed. Using a technique called real-time reverse transcriptase (RT)-polymerase chain...
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  • If I get infected, when do symptoms appear?

    Symptoms can appear between 2-14 days after exposure, though some people may not have any symptoms while still being contagious. It's also important to consider whether you've been in contact with ...
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  • Is it possible to test if someone had the virus but is cured now?

    Serological tests (tests that look for antibodies specific to a bacteria or virus) are a common diagnostic for other infections and could be developed. A serological test could tell you if you have...
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  • Is it possible to use convalescent serum - antibodies from those who have recovered from COVID-19 - to treat others?

    This is a strategy that is currently being tested. The concept of giving antibodies from one person to another to protect from disease is called passive immunization. You may also hear about this i...
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  • Is there a test for COVID-19?

    Yes. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a test that is used to diagnose the COVID-19 virus in most public health laboratories. In addition, many hospital and commerci...
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  • Should I be tested for COVID-19?

    If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing sp...
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  • Should I take over-the-counter medication to reduce my fever if I think I have COVID-19?

    Over-the-counter options for fever reducers include ibuprofen and acetaminophen. The World Health Organization (WHO) has clarified that it does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen as a self-...
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  • What are the symptoms of the virus?

    People with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have had a wide range of illnesses reported -- ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after expo...
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  • What does pooled testing mean?

    To save supplies, especially in situations where resources are limited, and test more people, pooled testing may be implemented. Pooled testing means taking samples from multiple people, storing pa...
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  • What does random testing mean?

    Random testing means selecting people for a test arbitrarily. Take, for example, a test meant to figure out how common COVID-19 exposure is in a town of 10,000 people. Testing everyone who works at...
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  • What happens when you get COVID-19 and it’s bad enough that you need to be treated in the hospital?

    Most hospital care involves management of conditions that happen as a result of a COVID-19 infection, for instance, pneumonia or severe respiratory distress. Most treatment for these conditions inc...
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  • What would lead you to believe that someone is infected with COVID-19?

    Identifying people who may be infected with COVID-19 virus relies on recognizing the symptoms that are caused by infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath), ruling out other causes for those sym...
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  • When will a vaccine be developed?

    Many organizations are working on developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Public health officials estimate that a safe and effective vaccine may be ready for the public in 12-18 months. Eff...
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  • Why will it take so long for a coronavirus vaccine to be ready?

    Vaccine development takes a long time because there are many steps in the process. Researchers must ensure the vaccine is safe and causes the correct immune response without causing other problems....
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