- Symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath can be caused by the flu and the common cold as well as COVID-19. At this time, the flu presents a greater risk in the United States than COVID-19, however, that could change if COVID-19 starts circulating widely. VA encourages everyone to get a flu shot if they have not yet received one to protect against flu and to help minimize demand on health care services.
- Veterans who have symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath should call their local VA medical center before seeking care. VA’s phone- and video-based telecare services can be used to avoid exposure to additional germs, keep from spreading germs to others, and eliminate a trip to VA.
- There is not yet a vaccine or medication to treat COVID-19. The best way to prevent an infection is to avoid being exposed in the first place by taking everyday preventive actions.
- Anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness should avoid visiting the medical center except to receive care. Visitors who display respiratory symptoms, should request a mask, wash hands with soap and water or sanitizer, and postpone their visit until they are symptom-free.