As concerns over coronavirus rise, you may be wondering exactly what it is, how you can protect yourself and what to be on the lookout for. Robert Pedowitz, DO, from Family Practice of CentraState helps answer what we know to date:
What is a novel coronavirus?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
How is COVID-19 transmitted?
COVID-19 is thought to spread similarly to influenza. That is, it spreads person to person through respiratory droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby typically within 6 feet or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to moderate respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Severe disease such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can also develop.
What is considered “close contact”?
Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) definition: being within 6 feet (2m) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time while caring, visiting, or living with the person.
What can I do to prevent COVID-19 transmission?
Wash hands often with soap and water. That is often more effective than hand sanitizer so preferred when available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Implement contact and airborne precautions with any suspected case.
What about masks?
World Health Organization recommends the use of surgical masks for patients with respiratory symptoms, which prevents suspected individuals from spreading the disease. CDC recommends the use of fitted N-95 masks in healthcare workers, when caring for suspected and confirmed cases. The N-95 masks are not suggested for the general public at this time.
Our goal is to prevent illness and also effectively and efficiently treat those who are sick. We are here to provide optimal health for all of our patients. Please contact us directly with any questions or concerns.
May all of you stay healthy.
For specific information regarding COVID-19 updates from the CDC, you can use the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html