We want to first of all urge our patients and families to try and remain calm! We are still learning about this particular strain of virus, but as of right now, studies appear to be showing that it is generally not serious in children or young adults. During this time, in order to protect our patients and staff while still caring for patients who need to be seen, we are asking that you follow responsible safety precautions like washing your hands regularly, practice social distancing when possible and wear a mask upon entry of our offices.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can infect humans and animals. There are different strains of coronavirus, some of which are very common and cause what we consider the common cold. Other common viral causes of cold symptoms include rhinovirus, enterovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza (flu). COVID-19 is a novel strain of coronavirus that was first reported in December 2019 in China. It has since spread to other countries including Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and now the United States.
How is it spread?
The virus appears to be spread from person to person. It can spread between people who are in close contact with one another (about 6 feet), or from respiratory droplets of an infected person. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, respiratory droplets can potentially land into the mouth or nose of a nearby person and be inhaled into the lungs. It may also be possible for the virus to be spread from a contaminated surface, such as touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose, however this is not the most likely way to catch it. People are most likely to be contagious when their symptoms are at their worst, but it may be possible to be contagious even before showing any symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms can range from mild to severe. The most common symptoms include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms usually appear 2-14 days after exposure. The symptoms may resemble the flu, but often there's no runny nose with it. In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia. Most deaths have occurred in older patients with health problems including heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or a compromised immune system.
How is it treated?
There is no cure for COVID-19 at this time. Treatment is supportive including maintaining hydration and fever control. Severe cases may require hospitalization, IV fluids, and respiratory support such as oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
For more information visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.