Novel Corona Virus and COVID-19
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new (novel)corona virus (SARS-CoV-2)which was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. It is now seen in about 90 countries worldwide, including the US. Other diseases caused by corona virus are Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).Its highly infectious and can be very mild and virtually asymptomatic in certain subset of the population however can prove to be deadly in certain high risk groups .
How is it spread?
COVID-19 is spread by droplet, meaning it is spread through particles released during coughing and sneezing of infected individuals which land on surfaces which is why we recommend avoiding crowded places( keep at least 6 feet apart ) and COVID-19 can also be spread by contact- transmission can occur when secretions from the infected person lands on a surface (like grocery carts, handrails, doorknobs etc.). Hand washing is key.
What are the symptoms?
COVID-19 is predominantly a lower respiratory tract infection as it targets receptors in the lungs
Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath.
Less common are GI symptoms like diarrhea and nausea, sinus congestion
Call your doctor if you have the above symptoms plus have been contact with a person suspected to have COVID-19 or have recently travelled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
Who is at risk?
People at highest risk include the elderly( over 60 yrs of age ) those with compromised immunity, and those with co-morbid conditions like heart disease, diabetes, asthma and obesity .The risk for significant illness in otherwise healthy patients is relatively low however they can still get and transmit the disease which is why practicing social distancing is important
What steps can be taken for prevention?
There is no vaccine as of yet, and one will not be available for several months. Consequently, prevention of exposure to the virus is key. Here are some steps you can take:
- Avoid traveling to countries that are a level 2 or 3 based on CDC criteria (visit CDC website for updates on those countries). In general avoid any unnecessary travel.
- Avoid crowded places, conventions, and public transportation if able.
- Practice social distancing ( at least 6 feet )
- Stay at home if you are sick other than to seek medical care. Do not walk into a doctors office or urgent care
- If you are febrile. Contact your doctors office first!
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds, and if that’s not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your face when you cough or sneeze with a tissue and discard of it after. Don’t forget to wash your hands after or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wipe down surfaces, doorknobs etc frequently
How soon after exposure can you catch the infection?
Symptoms can arise anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure. If someone has had suspected contact with another person who has COVID-19 and has not developed symptoms in 2 weeks they likely do not have the infection.
What is the treatment?
There is no real treatment yet. Current treatment is supportive care, which is why it is so important to follow strict public health measures to prevent and contain the disease and “Flatten the curve”
As far as supplements you can take oral zinc lozenges and Vit C which can help boost your immunity and perhaps cause less severe symptoms .
Here at Ideal health we are offering telemedicine visits . If you have any questions please call the office or email us . The CDC is doing a amazing job on keeping up with the updates .
Stay safe and healthy!