I know many of our patients and staff are concerned about the coronavirus and what we should be doing. We outlined some information about what the coronavirus is, how it is spread, what some of the symptoms are, and what outcomes to expect. This information is from the CDC. Keep in mind that Coronovirus is a new virus and information may change so I would encourage you to stay informed by checking their website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. Below is a handout from the CDC that may be helpful.
What is 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.
A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.
How does it spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (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.
What are the Symptoms?
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
- Fever (99% of cases)
- Shortness of breath
What are the outcomes?
Most infections are not severe, although many patients with COVID-19 have critical illness. Specifically, in a report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention that included approximately 44,500 confirmed infections with an estimation of disease severity:
●Mild (no or mild pneumonia) was reported in 81 percent.
●Severe disease (eg, with dyspnea, hypoxia, or >50 percent lung involvement on imaging within 24 to 48 hours) was reported in 14 percent.
●Critical disease (eg, with respiratory failure, shock, or multiorgan dysfunction) was reported in 5 percent.
●The overall case fatality rate was 1% percent; no deaths were reported among noncritical cases. The Fatality rate down to 1% (influenza is 0.1%) Better stated.. The survival rate of Covid is 99%…… influenza 99.9%. Likely the more data collected the lower yet the fatality rate will go. Please be reassured that the risks are extremely low, but do remain cautious.
What do I do to prevent infection?
Clean your hands often
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
· If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick
· Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Stay home if you’re sick
· Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
· Throw used tissues in the trash.
· Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
· If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
· If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
· Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
· If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
We care deeply for our staff, patients and community and our goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy. There is a 24/7 Texas Health Coronavirus Hotline at 682-236-7601.