What You Need to Know About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Hello Family Tree Family! As promised, we’re here to talk Coronavirus, more specifically the new strain (COVID-19). As we’re sure most of you already know, we have had cases, and even deaths, here in the US. As of yesterday, it’s finally made its way here to Florida (Tampa and Sarasota). So, here’s the essential info we feel you need to know moving forward.
Q: What is the coronavirus?
A: The name “Coronavirus” belongs to a family of viruses that primarily attack the respiratory system, first discovered in the 1960s. This is not a brand new virus, just a new strain of an old one. The
common cold? That’s a coronavirus. The family does have some meaner siblings though, such as SARS, MERS, and more recently famous, COVID-19. In simple terms, all the different strains are different siblings of that same virus family.
Q: How does it spread?
A: As with all members of the coronavirus family, the virus mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Typically, this occurs between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Q: What are the symptoms?
A: Typical symptoms are relatively non-specific – fever, cough, shortness of breath. Of note, approximately 81% of persons found to have COVID-19 have noted mild to even no symptoms. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure. A true fever constitutes a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Q: Is there a treatment?
A: While there is currently no specific antiviral cure for coronavirus, that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to relieve the symptoms. Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment (anti-inflammatories, cough medications, rest, and fluids). As with all viruses, antibiotics are completely useless.
Q: Are there preventative steps I can take?
A: This is the best thing you can do!! Seriously, if you take away nothing else from this post, please let this register.
-Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
-STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK.
-Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
-Stop buying facemasks if you aren’t sick! Masks are for sick people to reduce spread, not for healthy people.
-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to th
e bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
-If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. We have LOTS of these at the office, come by and get some!
Q: I’m already in my car and diving to your office for you to test me!
A: Ok, well that’s technically not a question, but we’ll let it slide. We don’t have tests for COVID-19. NO primary care office has tests for COVID-19 so far. Testing is coordinated through the Health Department and their designated labs.
Q: Soooo, what do I do if I get sick?
A: That’s the beauty of FTPC! Text us! The docs will triage everyone appropriately. In a lot of cases, we can either just talk over the phone, or we can facetime and you won’t even have to leave your house.