As of 4pm on March 21, 2020, there are 24,148 diagnosed cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 278 deaths.* As the response from both the federal, state, and local governments continues to expand, we hope that flattening of the curve of new cases occurs.
What is flattening of the curve?
The idea is to slow the number of new cases so that those who are sick can get the access to care they need and health care teams can catch up with the initial onslaught of sick patients.
How can you help flatten the curve?
- Continue to practice social distancing
- Shelter in place..aka stay home as much as possible
- Limit travel
- Work or take classes from home
As active and involved as our family normally is, we understand how challenging it is to uphold these measures. They are life saving, so please give it your all.
Regarding the coronavirus COVID-19 symptoms, remember that this virus is new and hit at a time that both influenza and the common cold were and are still occurring. And with spring upon us, seasonal allergies are also beginning.
It can get confusing to know whether you have a cold, seasonal allergies, or something more serious.
Seasonal allergies, like the common cold, can include itchy eyes, a runny nose, a scratchy throat, and an occasional cough but typically no fever. Although you may get a little fever with the common cold, it’s rare.
The classic symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and are as follows:
- Fever (an average 90% of patients get this)
- Dry Cough (the flu usually gives a wetter, productive cough)
- Shortness of breath
If you have the above symptoms, call your healthcare provider and discuss whether it is necessary to come into the clinic. This is an important precaution as most cases are considered mild and do not require any treatment beyond standard measures such as staying home, hydrating, Tylenol (acetaminophen) for fever, and cough medicines as needed.
If you have increasing difficulty breathing, chest pain, blue lips, or new onset of confusion or dizziness with the above symptoms, you may need emergency care. Additionally if you have other risk factors including older age or chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune disorders, or obesity, you should call your healthcare provider right away to discuss testing and next steps.
Call ahead if you have worsening symptoms and are going to the clinic or hospital. Hospitals have implemented specific coronavirus COVID-19 protocols, and you’ll want to know what those are ahead of time for your sake and that of our community.
Dr. Carlos Jorge
*Source: Johns Hopkins University