PHOENIX - Arizona continues to see a slow yet steady increase in the average number of coronavirus cases reported each day as a decline that lasted through August and September reverses.
The state Health Services Department on Oct. 16 reported 738 new virus cases, bringing the total since the pandemic hit to 228,486. The state also reported 17 new deaths, bringing the total to 5,806.
Arizona was a national hotspot for the virus in June and early July, with more than 3,000 new cases a day regularly being reported. That dropped to well below 500 per day last month.
But the average daily number is now increasing, bringing warnings from some health experts. The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Arizona has risen over the past two weeks from 480 new cases per day on Oct. 1 to 764 new cases per day on Oct. 15.
Thursday also saw the first daily tally above 1,000 in a month.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.
But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Monitor your health daily
FULL COVERAGE: fox10phoenix.com/coronavirus
Arizona COVID-19 resources, FAQ: azdhs.gov/coronavirus
On CoronavirusNOW.com, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.
- Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms
- Does wearing a face mask protect you from coronavirus and other infectious diseases?
- Should you cancel your trip? CDC urges travelers to avoid several countries impacted by coronavirus
Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.