Well everyone else is talking about the corona virus (covid19) so I figured I would chime in.
First, I am completely stealing MOST of what I am writing today in this blog. Mainly because this outbreak has been covered ad nauseum for more than a week. Second, I still feel like putting this info out there will be helpful for some of you if you follow us. Third, OK has now confirmed 1 case in Tulsa county so sooner or later it is going to get to the rest of the state.
Let’s talk about some facts:
- Every single one of us has had a coronavirus infection in the past — it’s one of the viruses (along with rhinovirus, adenovirus, etc.) that causes the common cold. COVID-19 is just a variation (or mutation).
- This new coronavirus can cause anything from nothing to a mild cold to a potentially lethal viral pneumonia, but for the vast, vast majority of people it causes a mild cold. One easy stat I saw was only 10% of illnesses need hospitalization. 1% of cases have been fatal. So even if you get it, 90% likely to be JUST a cold.
- There have been more concerning, more deadly Coronaviruses in the past — most notably the SARS epidemic of 2003 and the MERS epidemic of 2012. Moreover, influenza continues to kill more people EVERY YEAR in the US. You all hear me ranting about flu vaccines all the time. Just this year in the US flu has killed almost 20,000 people. covid 19 is up to 27. (my main point here is dont panic and dont let people around you panic)
- This COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person, though we aren’t exactly sure how. The most likely route of transmission is from respiratory droplets (sneezing, coughing, or just aerosolization from breathing), and potentially from other bodily fluids.
- Those who are most affected by COVID-19 and most at risk for hospitalization or death are those who are more at risk to begin with: those who are older, those with multiple chronic health conditions, etc.
How can you protect yourself and others?
- Just like any other respiratory virus: stay home if you’re sick!
- Just like preventing any other respiratory virus: take good care of yourself! Exercise regularly, eat nutritious, balanced meals, practice stress mitigation techniques, and get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep a night, etc.
- Just like preventing any other respiratory virus: wash your hands! A lot! This is the MOST important one.
- Just like preventing any other respiratory virus: don’t touch your eyes, mouth, nose, etc., and get into the habit of washing your hands before eating.
- If you can, avoid contact with those who are sick or are caring for the sick.
- If you are not actively sick (or caring for someone who is), ear-loop/surgical masks are not likely helpful. Healthcare workers will wear masks (and often higher-rated ones than the ear-loop masks), as they have a much higher likelihood of caring for someone with the disease and are prioritizing mitigating the spread to others.
Also please treat your allergies. i’ve had a sore throat and drainage for 2 weeks myself. even with appropriate treatment it has been a struggle to catch up once i got behind.
For my pts, I will put out a mass email today addressing how we will approach ill pts for the next few weeks, months. We will follow the recommendations of the health dept.
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