COVID-19: Health Tips & Staying Safe
April 3, 2020
Stay Informed and Spread the Word
As of April 3, 2020, there are over 200,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States. The U.S. now leads the world in COVID-19 cases, and those numbers are expected to rise. Should you be concerned? What are its symptoms? Is it treatable? How can you protect yourself and others? What is COVID-19 in the first place? Please continue reading for important information and how Cypress-affiliated physicians are adapting to caring for patients with telemedicine.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Explained
- Definition and Distinction
- Symptoms & Treatment Protocols
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a respiratory illness from the same virus family as the common cold. The virus that makes up the common cold is a different strain of the coronavirus. However, COVID-19 has not been previously identified in humans, making it a new strain of the coronavirus. Given that it is a new (‘novel’) virus, no official vaccine has been approved.
Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Always remember to pay close attention to your symptoms if they should develop. Contact your health provider and follow their instructions on whether or not a test is necessary. One of the reasons COVID-19 is so dangerous is because symptoms may appear as late as 2-14 days after the point of exposure. Over 30 U.S. states have now issued "stay at home orders" affecting more than 300 million Americans. Many people are ignoring orders from local government officials and still traveling when possibly infected, not knowing they have the virus. This is why it is important to stay home and only go out for essentials like groceries, medications, etc.
Health and Safety Tips
- Protecting Yourself and Others
- Utilizing Telemedicine
According to the CDC, for people practicing “social distancing” and following health official ordinances, the health risk from COVID-19 is low. As mentioned above, COVID-19 is dangerous because it is a new disease. Health officials are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and the extent to which it may spread in the United States. Right now, we know COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person contact, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Infection is also possible through touching a surface that has the virus on it and then proceeding to touch our mouth, nose, or eyes.
To protect yourself, it is important to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available. Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with infected people and practice “social distancing” in public if you must go out to reduce your chance of getting infected. If you think you may be sick, stay home except to receive medical care, and wear a mask if someone is caring for you.
Most of our physicians have had to adapt to this growing pandemic by utilizing telehealth services. They can complete routine patient check-ups and decide if an in-person diagnosis is required. Resources like video calling, FaceTime, and WhatsApp have helped our physicians, their staff, and patients reduce their exposure to COVID-19. Patients can remain connected with their physician and up-to-date on important office protocols, news, and safety information.
If you think you may have COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s guidelines for more information: https://bit.ly/2ytWUiV
*All information taken from CDC.gov