"So Dr. Cudjoe, what do YOU think of that Coronavirus?"
I have been asked this question as you can imagine quite a bit since the first cases of illness were reported in Wuhan, China. With the first case in Collin County diagnosed earlier this week, I thought it might be helpful to have your most pressing concerns addressed here on our BloomMed website.
Symptoms of the Coronavirus infection:
- Fever, cough, shortness of breath.
- Unlike the flu, patients may not report body aches.
- Symptoms may take 2 to 14 days to manifest after exposure.
How is it Spread?
- COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, primarily from person to person, which occurs within 6 ft.
- Some Coronaviruses, like COVID-19, can be passed from certain animal species to people and amongst people.
- The virus can remain active on surfaces for a few hours but is easily killed by common disinfectants.
Who is at risk for this infection?
- Close contacts of persons with confirmed COVID-19 infection
- Vulnerable populations such as the eldery, but also in those with underlying conditions that cause a weakened immune system, such as uncontrolled diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease
- Travelers coming from areas with growing community spread of coronavirus cases
- Healthcare workers
How do we treat coronavirus infections?
- Antibiotics are NOT effective in treating viral infections, including COVID-19.
- Treatment is supportive- fluids and fever managment will be all that is needed in most people who are infected, however for those with additional health conditions, blood pressure and respiratory support in a hospital setting may also be needed.
What can we do to avoid getting infected?
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water.
- Cover your cough/sneeze with napkins/tissue and throw them away immediately.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces at home/work with disinfectant.
- Maintain a safe distance (at least 6 ft) from those who are known to be infected.
- Stay home and away from others if you have a fever.
Is Coronavirus testing available?
- The CDC has developed a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of COVID-19 and as of March 8, these tests were made available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- COVID-19 diagnostic testing will be administered to people who meet testing criteria established by the CDC.
- These tests should be available at BloomMed when we reopen on Monday, March 16, 2020.
What do I do if I think I have been infected with the Coronavirus?
- FIRST call your doctor to express your concerns. They will determine if testing is appropriate.
- If testing is deemed appropriate, your doctor will let you know the next steps including when and/or where to be tested and how to avoid exposure to others while getting tested.
Additional measures being taken by BloomMed:
- All patients will be screened for COVID-19 with a short questionnaire when they arrive for their visit.
- All patients with cough and/or fever, will be required to wear a mask for the full duration of their visit and immediately moved to a private room.
- Use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) will be utilized by all medical staff coming into contact with patients suspected to be infected with COVID-19.
- Patients determined to be at high risk for COVID-19 infection will be tested and the local health department will be notified.
- Disinfecting protocols will continue after each patient encounter.
- Office appointments for established BloomMed members will be coverted to telemedicine appointments whenever possible.
- Periodic updates on the status of the coronavirus and how it affects our community and practice will be sent out by email to all BloomMed patients.
For the most up to date information on the Coronavirus, please use the following links: