With all the conflicting information being published about the coronavirus outbreak, and the resulting panic, we thought it would be a good time to share what actual medical professionals have to say. As we share these facts with you, we feel it is very important that you use this information to destress, as stress is known to weaken the immune system. In other words, KEEP CALM, and read on.

Facts

COVID-19 is a strain of a type of virus called the coronavirus. Coronaviruses are well known, and usually cause diseases such as the common cold. COVID-19, however, has not previously been detected in humans, there is currently no vaccine available, and our systems have not built up immunity.

Most medical professionals are concerned, BUT NOT as concerned as the media would have you believe. At this time, people who do NOT have high risk factors are not being tested for the virus. And most people who become infected, will have mild symptoms, similar to cold or flu, and recover at home.

The biggest concern at this time for medical professionals, is the possibility of a large number of people needing medical attention at the same time.

Illness Severity

Quote from the CDC:

The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. Reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

Learn more about the symptoms associated with COVID-19.

There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

You should also know, the expected mortality rate from all cases is around 0.5%-0.7%, meaning 5-7 out of 1000 diagnosed cases.

Symptoms

The symptoms for CORID-19 are common with many other illness, such as the common cold. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

What You Should NOT Do

  • Do not panic. Panic is causing problems worldwide for the economy and for our health care professionals.
  • Do not stockpile supplies, such as hand sanitizer and toilet paper, as other people may need them. (It would not hurt to have a reasonable supply of groceries and any meds you are taking, 14 days worth, so that you do not have to leave home, potentially spreading the virus, if you become sick.)
  • Do not worry. Stress and worry may weaken your immune system and cause more harm than the coronavirus.
  • PLEASE do not share false information on social media or otherwise. The CDC is publishing ongoing news and updates and you can stay informed here.  While reporters may be trying to help the situation, to some degree, in some cases, they are doing more harm than good.
  • If you are NOT sick, you do not need a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Masks may be in short supply and should be saved for caregivers.

What You Should Do

The CDC has published detailed instructions here. Some of the highlights are:

  • As you have already heard, our advice is to wash your hands frequently (using soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds) and use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with people (6 feet) who are sick, unless you are the caregiver
  • There are certain scenarios you may want to avoid, such as cruise ships (for now).
  • Keep your surfaces clean and disinfected daily. This applies to home, work, vehicles, etc. A simple bleach solution will do, or peroxide based cleaners used as directed.
  • Call your doctor if you…

    • Develop the symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19
    • OR if you recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
  • Use Telemedicine or Telehealth if possible. Medicare and other insurance programs are making changes so that more patients have access to care online and over the phone. You take the time now, to find out what your insurance company covers and learn how to use it before getting sick.  Learn more about new legislation impacting Medicare patients.

We would like to add:

  • Avoid sugar and eat a nutritious diet. Fresh fruits, such as strawberries, and leafy green vegetables can help boost your immune system.
  • Increase your oxygen levels by drinking lots of water, deep breathing, and exercise.

If you are sick:

  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow or a tissue and discard the tissue in a closed container.
  • Wear a facemask when you are around other people.
  • Speak to your doctor, preferably via Telemedicine or online, to determine if you need to be tested.
  • Self isolate at home, unless your doctor tells you to seek treatment.
  • Drink a minimum of 8 – 8oz glasses of water each day. More if possible.
  • Eat healthy food.

High Risk Factors

Healthcare professionals have been advised by the CDC to be on the lookout for:

  • People who recently traveled from China, Italy, or another affected area and who have symptoms associated with COVID-19, and
  • People who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or patients with pneumonia of unknown cause.

Individuals are being advised as follows:

  • If you are a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, again, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19. Treatment will be given to combat certain symptoms, such as shortness of breath caused by pneumonia.
  • For people who are ill with COVID-19, but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.

Is Braselton Urgent Care Testing?

We are not currently providing tests for the coronavirus but will be testing in the future if necessary. If you have concerns, we can help you determine if you need to be tested. Our Telemedicine system is the perfect way for you to get advice quickly, and without leaving home. We can help you decide if you have a common cold, seasonal allergies, sinus infection, or if you need to be tested for the coronavirus.