The novel coronavirus (which causes a disease known as COVID-19) has now now been declared a global pandemic. While originally associated with travel to China, we are now seeing community spread. Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity and states in which community spread is occurring are in an accelerated phase. While the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is very high, the individual risk depends on exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the general American public who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. People in communities where ongoing community spread of COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low risk of exposure.
Symptoms: Coronavirus usually causes an upper respiratory tract illness like the common cold. According to the CDC, patients with this new coronavirus have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 80% of patients infected with Coronavirus have a milder spectrum of illness and illness in children appears to be more mild than in adults. Patients with conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and weakened immune systems are felt to be at higher risk of severe illness and are recommended to self quarantine.
Prevention: The same practices that are recommended during cold and flu season should be practiced:
* Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
* Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
* Stay home from work and keep children home from school and daycare if you or your child is sick, except to get medical care.
* Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
* Clean and disinfect objects and frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, handles and lightswitches.
*Practice "social distancing" stay six feet away from others and follw public health guidelines on gathering.
*Wear non-medical face coverings while in public.
Treatment: There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. The great majority of infected children will have mild symptoms and recover on their own. However, if your child is having trouble breathing (breating fast, short of breath, wheezing), has signs of dehydration or extreme fatigue, this should be reported immediately.
During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Childrens Medical Group remains open and is here to keep our patients healthy.
Our office remains open and ready to care for our patients. Well visits are available in the mornings and some early afternoons, while sick appointments are available in the afternoons and later afternoons. Although patients may feel they do not want to overburden us at this time or feel the office is full of sick patients, it is quite the contrary. We are here as we have always been to help and care for our patients and we have put a great system in place to assure safety.
We want you to know that we are Committed to Patient Safety: The safety and well-being of our patients, families, and staff is our highest priority. We understand there may be feelings of apprehension coming into our office, but want to assure our patients and families of the steps we are taking ensure everyone’s safety:
• We no longer have patients wait in the waiting room, but instead work hard to get patients roomed as they arrive for their appointment.
• We are scheduling only WCC (well child checks) and routine well follow up visits in the morning and some early afternoons. We have asked that parents check temperatures the day prior and the day of appointments. Any patient with fever or symptoms of illness are asked to reschedule their appointment.
• Patients are screened prior to any sick visits being scheduled. Sick visits take place in the afternoon after all well and routine follow up care is finished. When reasonable to do so, sick appointments may take place by video visit.
• We continue to clean rooms in between patients, with “deep cleanings” occurring nightly.
• We have also asked that all patients and parents wear a face mask or face covering when coming to the office.
• We ask that you do not bring anyone extra to the visit and only one parent accompany their child to their appointment, with the exception of both parents with the first newborn appointment.
Please Call Ahead: If you or a family member have traveled recently to an area of risk or if you think you may have been exposed to the virus and have symptoms of respiratory illness, call us before you come in. Calling ahead helps us direct you to the most appropriate care, and takes precautions to protect other patients, their families, the doctors and staff. Visit the CDC website for the latest coronavirus information. https://www.cdc.gov Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Going Back To School
With schools starting up again and plans for moving back to the classroom in the works, this timely town hall answers most of the questions I get from parents daily, including the # 1 question..."is it safe to go back?" Let's let the experts from Rady Children's help answer our most common and pressing questions. Rady Children's COVID-19 Town Hall for Families.
Please copy and paste the link into your browser