What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a member of the Coronaviruses (CoV) family. Illness caused by Coronaviruses range from the common cold to severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China. On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official name for this disease – Coronavirus Disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include:
- Shortness of breath
Other symptoms can include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Emergency warning symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Bluish lips or face
These symptoms are not all inclusive. Please consult your physician for further evaluation. In case you are experiencing emergency warning symptoms, get medical attention on an urgent basis.
How does coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus spreads primary person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
How can I protect myself from Coronavirus?
Currently, there is no vaccination available for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to protect yourself from this contagious disease is to avoid being exposed to the virus in the first place. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends certain necessary precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
What if I recently traveled and got sick?
If you have recently traveled and you think you have been exposed to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice on an emergent basis.
If I am overseas and get the coronavirus, will my domestic health insurance cover it?
Most people are unaware that their domestic health insurance will not provide coverage for them overseas. To obtain medical coverage, they must purchase a travel medical plan which provides health benefits such as reimbursement of emergency medical expenses, medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, emergency reunion, the return of a minor, etc.
What is the airline’s refund policy for my ticket?
COVID-19 is a declared pandemic and travel bans are imposed by most countries worldwide. In this situation, some airlines are waiving change and cancellation fees due to the coronavirus outbreak. Airline refund policies may vary, so it is advised to directly reach out to the airline to determine if you can change or cancel your flight due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Will my credit card travel insurance cover for the coronavirus?
It is important to note that travel insurance through credit card companies generally does not provide comprehensive coverage, especially for medical situations, compared to a plan purchased through G1G.
What if the airline cancels my flight due to the Coronavirus?
The coverage can only be provided if the airline cancellation was due to a covered reason specified in the plan. We recommend that you should contact your airline to check their refund/cancellation policies.
What is the risk of getting COVID-19 on an airplane?
Airplanes have a low risk of infection but try to avoid contact with sick passengers and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Should I go on a cruise?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all travelers, particularly older adults and anyone with serious chronic medical conditions defer all cruise ship travel. Recent reports of COVID-19 on cruise ships highlight the risk of infection. Like many other viruses, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters.
What can I expect when departing from other countries?
Some countries are conducting exit screening for all departing passengers. Before being permitted to board a departing flight, you may have your temperature taken and be asked questions about your travel history and health.
What can I expect when arriving in the United States?
Travel restrictions and entry screenings can apply to travelers arriving from some countries or regions affected by the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
If you are coming from a country or a region with an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak (Level 3 Travel Health Notice), you may be screened when you arrive in the United States. After you arrive home, it’s recommended that you take the following steps to protect yourself and others:
- Stay at home: Do not go to work, school, or leave your house for 14 days.
- Monitor your health: Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever (temperature of 100.4°F/38°C or higher). Also, watch for a cough or trouble breathing.
- Practice social distancing within the home: Avoid contact with other people for the 14 days. Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from family members and others in the home when possible.
If you are coming from a country with ongoing community transmission (Level 2 Travel Health Notice), take the following steps to protect yourself and others:
- Monitor your health: Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever (watch for a temperature of 100.4°F/38°C or higher). Also, watch for a cough or trouble breathing.
- Practice social distancing: Stay out of crowded places and avoid group gatherings. Do not go to shopping malls or to the movies. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters). Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during this time.