What You Need to Know About Coronavirus
Dear Foxhall Patients:
Here is some medical information and advice from us about the coronavirus and steps to take to help prevent infection or prevent spreading the infection to others.
Coronavirus is the name of the virus that is causing an illness called COVID-19. The illness usually starts within 2 days of exposure but can take up to 14 days to show up. The symptoms are fever, cough, and often some shortness of breath. People can progress from mildly ill to severely ill in a short time, sometimes just a few hours.
Steps to take to help avoid becoming sick
- Wear a mask and other PPE, if applicable, at work and in public
- Wash your hands with soap and water (20 seconds minimum) or use sanitizer gel before and after using the restroom, eating, or touching common public surfaces such as door handles.
- Make your own sanitizer gel: 1 cup Isopropyl alcohol, ½ cup Aloe Vera gel, a few drops of scented oil for aroma, small amounts of Vitamin E oil for extra skin softening, small amounts of water to thin the gel mixture.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Use Lysol or Clorox spray to wipe down counters and door handles.
- Avoid airplane travel and cruise ships. Avoid large crowds.
- Try and stay 6 feet or more away from others.
- Avoid being near anyone who is coughing or appears ill.
- Telecommute if this is an option.
- Check the CDC website for updates: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Steps to take if you think you might have developed a COVID-19 infection
- If you develop symptoms of COVID, wear a mask if near others and stay home until you can get testing to confirm or rule out COVID.
- If you have been in close contact in the past 7 days with someone who you later found out definitely has COVID, then self-quarantine if possible until 14 days from when that contact took place. If no symptoms by then, you should be okay.
- If you have been in close contact in the past 7 days with someone who you think might have COVID, then self-quarantine if possible until you know for sure if they tested positive or negative.
When to seek medical attention and when NOT to
- If you have a fever > 100.4 degrees and a cough, this could be COVID or could be a cold. Do not go to a medical office or ER unless you have trouble breathing as well.
- If you feel more than a little sick, call our office or your primary care’s office for further advice.
- Unless you are severely ill, do not go to an ER unless instructed to by medical personnel. ER’s are becoming overwhelmed with patients, many of whom do not need to be seen.
- DO NOT GO TO OUR OFFICE OR THE ER, CALL US FIRST.
General facts about the virus
- It is possible that many people have been infected with such a mild case that we do not really know how severe the illness is. We only know that about 2% of cases of people severely ill enough to become hospitalized are fatal.
- All ages, races and ethnicities are at risk for contracting and spreading COVID.
- Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
COVID-19 and Pregnancy
- There is limited information on COVID-19 and its effect on pregnant women and newborns. Based on limited data pregnant women are at slightly higher risk for more severe illness than a non-pregnant woman.
- Pregnant women are encouraged to take all available precautions to optimize health and avoid exposure to COVID-19 including:
- Maintaining prenatal care appointments
- Wearing a mask and other recommended PPE, if applicable, at work and in public
- Washing hands frequently
- Limiting contact with other individuals as much as possible
- Maintaining an adequate supply of preparedness resources including medications
- Pregnant women should follow CDC and local government guidelines for non-essential travel and social distancing just like non-pregnant patients.
- There is no clear evidence that the virus can spread from a pregnant woman to her child in utero.
- Based on limited data pregnant women may be at increased risk for preterm delivery.
- It does not appear that coronavirus is found in breast milk. Women with COVID-19 should discuss the risks and benefits of breastfeeding with their doctor. They should wear a mask when they are around the newborn and while nursing.
References CDC 8/4/20 and ACOG Practice Advisory: Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) 3/11/20