We know – it’s impossible to pick up a newspaper, watch the news or check our social media without the latest updates regarding the current coronavirus situation in this country and around the world.
Regardless of where you may live, there are some important things to know, not the least of which is please don’t panic. It’s important to realize that at any given time there are many viruses in our environment including influenza and the common cold that are far more prevalent than coronavirus – and to which we are exposed daily and may never become ill.
Some basic facts
Since we have received inquiries from patients who travel from out-of-the-area to our San Antonio offices asking about the current situation here, we thought we could address in brief some basics about the virus.
▪ COVID-19 is spread in the same way as the flu or another respiratory illness, mainly through direct or close contact with an affected individual.
▪ Infections are usually mild although the illness may be more serious in older people.
▪ As with all viruses, unless a secondary bacterial infection is identified, antibiotics are of no use.
▪ Symptoms include fever, coughing, typical respiratory signs such as congestion, headache and similar issues.
▪ If you think you are sick, whether it’s a cold, flu, or something else that could be contagious, we encourage you to stay at home and contact your primary care doctor for their specific instructions. This is especially true if the person is elderly or has an impaired immune system.
At this time if you have an appointment scheduled and are traveling here from out-of-the-area, we ask that you please reach out to our office for more information about our telemedicine options. The same applies if you are a local patient and are experiencing any respiratory illness symptoms; we are happy to reschedule your appointment until you are well.
Your primary care physician can advise you further about any questions regarding testing or similar concerns. The City of San Antonio Metro Health website also provides continuous updates at https://www.sanantonio.gov/Health/News/Alerts/CoronaVirus and any local city health department where you live will have this same type of information available.
We appreciate that the “unknown” factor of this particular virus and the resulting infection, COVID-19, may seem more alarming simply because we are unfamiliar with it. And the constant media barrage also may make it more concerning. But common sense measures such as regular handwashing, cleaning household surfaces, limiting exposure to persons who are sick, eating nutritious, healthy meals and avoiding processed junk food and other measures all apply as before this event! Truly if we can all just stay informed – and not MISinformed!! – we can hopefully curtail the level of hysteria about this latest virus.
Please see this excellent piece by Dr. Elise Song, https://healthykidshappykids.com/2020/02/27/coronavirus-covid-19/, which has very detailed information applicable for both children and adults and is being regularly updated.
Dr. Suzy Gazda