Get help if you are sick

We are all afraid of what will happen if we get sick. But you can get help if you are sick. Prepare yourself and your family in case someone gets sick. Learn how to find help if you are not a citizen.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms are the signs that you are sick. Not everybody who has COVID-19 gets all the symptoms. Most people get sick and then get better without needing medical care. A few people have no symptoms. Some people get very strong symptoms.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
coronavirus symptoms graphic
Image courtesy of CDC

Most people with COVID-19 also feel very tired. Other symptoms are: aches and pains in your body, a blocked-up or runny nose (like a cold), a sore throat, diarrhea, and losing your sense of smell.

Invisible symptoms

IMPORTANT: Even your symptoms are mild, ask to have your oxygen levels checked. Many people with COVID-19 have low oxygen levels and do not know. Low oxygen levels are very serious. But if your oxygen levels are treated quickly, you can get better much more easily.

What should I do if I am sick?

Should I be tested for coronavirus?

You can take a test to see if you have COVID-19. A medical worker will put a small stick in your nose and take a sample of cells. Your sample is tested in a laboratory. A positive test result means you have COVID-19. A negative test result means you do not have the COVD-19.

CDC says that not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. But testing can help you decide what to do to take care of yourself and protect other people. If you have symptoms and want to get tested, call your health department or doctor. Go to the CDC website to find the health department in your state.

coronavirus testing kit

What if I am undocumented?

You can get healthcare if you are undocumented but call before you go to a medical center. If you have symptoms, call your public health department before you go to a doctor or health center. Health clinics and hospitals that help immigrants and low-income Americans are not required to report legal status, and patients are protected by US privacy laws. You can find more information for immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees during the emergency.

What if I do not have health insurance?

In most communities in the USA, you can find a health clinic that serves low-income and uninsured patients. You can search for an affordable or free health center near you.

This information comes from trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. USAHello does not give legal advice or medical advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal or medical advice. Our health information has been reviewed by USAHello board member Tej Mishra, a US public health professional and epidemiologist.

Do you have more questions about what to do if you get sick? You can ask@usahello.org.