As we continue to deal with the spread of COVID-19, we thought it was important to review some facts about the virus that we know as of now. As you know, this is a developing situation, and the facts will change and evolve as our health care community learns more and more about the situation. But as of today (3/26/2020), here are what we believe to be very solid facts about the virus.
According to the CDC, these most common symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear 2-14 days after exposure: fever, cough and shortness of breath. Emergency warning signs to get medical attention immediately include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, and bluish lips or face. Please note, this list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
How it is thought to be transmitted:
This coronavirus is spread predominantly by droplet transmission, which is good news as it means it can be easier to avoid. This virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person who are in close contact (within 6 feet) when an infected person coughs or sneezes. That’s why it is so important to cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands.
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic and the sickest. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms. There have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Each day we are learning more and more about how it is transmitted. This is best knowledge as of today.
What to do if you think you are coming down with the virus and testing:
Start with a phone call to your primary care physician. You do not want to go directly to a physician’s office or to the ER unless it is an emergency. Rather, you want to have a phone call or virtual visit first. Each hospital is handling the testing and treatment differently, so there is no one size fits all answer except to start with your own primary care physician.
According to the CDC, as of March 16, 2020, the first preliminary description of outcomes among patients with COVID-19 in the United States indicates that fatality was highest in persons aged ≥85, ranging from 10% to 27%, followed by 3% to 11% among persons aged 65–84 years, 1% to 3% among persons aged 55-64 years, <1% among persons aged 20–54 years, and no fatalities among persons aged ≤19 years. We expect these rates will fall as the denominator (the number of people truly infected) will be larger than we initially know.
Remember the World Health Organization’s “Do the Five” tips to help stop coronavirus:
HANDS Wash them often
ELBOW Cough into it
FACE Don’t touch it
SPACE Keep safe distance
HOME Stay if you can
In addition, we want to remind you of our previous suggestions: stay active, eat healthy, drink a lot of water, get plenty of rest and sleep, and make sure you continue human interaction through phone calls, Skype and FaceTime to communicate with family and friends. Finally, we can’t stress enough the importance of a good mindset to develop a positive outlook and outcome. We think it is vital that you expect to stay healthy and continue to picture yourself in great health.
In our next communication we are going to share some thoughts about what actions our younger clients or the children of our clients may want to consider during this unusual time.
If you need anything, do not hesitate to reach out to us.