Working Together for our Community

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting challenges to the world and our own St. Louis region that are likely to continue over the next weeks and months. Area physicians and health care leaders from BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke's Hospital are united in their mission to help St. Louis face these challenges. They are working in close partnership with local and state health departments and our academic medical institutions, St. Louis University and Washington University Schools of Medicine.

They are confident that with knowledge, vigilance, and collaboration, the St. Louis community can weather the COVID-19 pandemic together.

BJC, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke's are working together, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Missouri and Illinois health departments, to give community members access to factual information and quality care connected to new novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

What you should know

About COVID-19

  • Coronaviruses are a common family of viruses that can cause respiratory infection. There are several variations and they are well-known to the medical community. Symptoms include fever, cough and/or shortness of breath. (See “The symptoms” below.)
  • COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus first identified late last year. The symptoms, and transmission are similar in many ways to influenza. Evidence has shown so far that in most cases COVID-19 causes mild to moderate respiratory illness, though some cases have been severe.
  • COVID-19 is spread from person to person by respiratory droplets, such as when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes. Symptoms for COVID-19 usually appear two to 14 days after initial exposure to the disease.
  • The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. A pandemic is simply a disease that has spread across a wide region, such as several continents, affecting a greater number of people than usual for that region.

The symptoms

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 infection include fever, dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Some of these symptoms are similar to cold or flu symptoms. But runny noses and sinus pressure or stuffiness are not normally among the first symptoms.
  • Most people become ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may occur in as little as two or as many as 14 days.

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