I believe I’ve sat at my computer and started to write this about 3 or 4 times over the last several weeks. As information comes along and massive amounts of non-factual information infests the internet and social media platforms, I have decided to just write what we know to help us focus on what we need to understand. I’ve listened to Dr. Anthony Fauci speak many times on the topic and have been reading the CDC website like it’s my new favorite novel. And what I’ve found is that there are a few definite things we know about this Corona Virus that we need to make sure everyone understands.
- It is highly contagious. Much more easily caught than the seasonal flu.
- The mortality rate (rate of death from the virus) is much higher. 0.1% for Seasonal
- Influenza vs. 1.0% for COVID-19.
- Everyone is vulnerable, but the elderly and those with certain health condition and /or decreased immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
- There is no cure, no vaccine, and currently no established treatment other than supportive therapy.
- Social Distancing, and regular hand washing can significantly reduce the spread of this disease.
- You could be positive for COVID-19 even without symptoms.
For all of these reasons, it is important for us to do our part in preventing the spread of this very scary virus. As we’ve watched in China, Italy and now NYC…it can permeate a community and have devastating consequences. New information seems to come out daily, but it’s really important to be mindful of the sources. We are definitely all learning this together as this is a novel virus and there are so many unknowns. But we do know that transmission is person to person, generally through coughing or sneezing. Primary symptoms are:
- Fever (can be low grade, above 100.4 is considered severe for COVID-19)
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of Breath
- Runny nose
- Body Aches
What makes this confusing is the similarities between COVID-19, Seasonal Influenza and the common cold. So, the rule of thumb is…if you are mildly sick, stay home and ride it out. If your symptoms become severe, then please seek medical attention. If you don’t know what to do, call your medical provider. The CDC website also has a symptom checker https://www.cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html . I just did it and it’s pretty cool. They give you advice on when to seek medical attention and how to treat yourself at home. The CDC continues to recommend quarantine for sick members of the family. Also, seek immediate attention if your symptoms escalate to:
- Trouble breathing (cannot speak a full sentence without becoming short of breath)
- Persistent Pain or pressure in your chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Please call an ambulance and don’t try to drive yourself or let anyone you love drive you to the hospital. These are symptoms that require Emergency Management and can escalate quickly. Paramedics are specially trained to handle such situations. Keep in mind that everyone could respond to this virus differently so there may be other symptoms that are not listed. When in doubt, call your provider. And as your provider, I hope to hear from you before you get to the last 4 symptoms mentioned.
Last but not least, testing. Here is where things get a little murky. In general, those without symptoms will not be recommended for testing. If you have symptoms, currently it is up to the local and state health departments regarding testing. In NH currently they will test those who are recommended by their providers. Because there is a limited supply of testing, it is important to reserve testing for the sickest and most at risk. You will likely be recommended to go to a local lab or state run testing facility.
I hope this provided some general insight and knowledge regarding COVID-19. Again, be mindful of your sources of information and remember that the CDC has a very informative website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html . But most of all, we at Greenhouse Natural Medicine are here for you. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.
Remember, we are in this together and we need to support each other!
With Blessings, love and light,