5 Coronavirus Facts to Share

NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

This information doesn’t mean you should panic, but you do need to take the pandemic seriously. Everyone has a responsibility — not only to protect themselves, but to protect their friends, family, neighbors, and community. You don’t want to be a vector for the virus, and the best way to curb the outbreak is to strictly practice social distancing.

1. People are contagious very early on in the infection, potentially even before they’re symptomatic. A study conducted by researchers in Germany found that nine people infected with the novel coronavirus were shedding huge amounts of the virus — thousands to millions of copies — as early as Day One of their infection, when they had only mild, cold-like symptoms. In fact, virus levels in the nose and throat were highest on that first day and declined in the days after. This suggests that infected people are shedding the virus even before they are symptomatic.

2. It can take up to 11 days for symptoms to appear after infection. Research has shown that the median incubation period is five days. That means some people will develop symptoms sooner and some will develop them later. The study also reported that only 2.5% of people showed symptoms two days after exposure, and 97.5% of people were symptomatic after 11 days. This means that if you’ve come into contact with someone who has the virus, you need to quarantine for the full 14 days to be safe. This timeframe is especially important because you can be highly contagious during this time and not even know it (see point above).

3. The virus lives on surfaces for up to three days. In an experiment, scientists created an aerosol that contained the novel coronavirus to mimic how it would be spread by a sneeze, a cough, or an exhale. Then, they sprayed that aerosol onto different surfaces to see how long the virus could survive. On copper, the virus was detectable for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastics and stainless steel for two to three days. This means that objects can remain contaminated for a much longer time, and people can become infected with the virus if they touch the object and then touch their face. You can also get infected if you inhale a sick person’s sneeze, cough, or exhale.

4. The rate of the infection is growing exponentially. The WHO estimates the infection rate for the novel coronavirus is between 2 and 2.5, meaning that every person who gets sick will infect another two or three people. At that pace, the number of people with the virus will double every six days. This rate has led epidemiologists to predict that 40% to 70% of the population could contract the virus if extreme social distancing measures aren’t taken.

5. It’s not just old people who are getting seriously sick. A lot of young people have blown off the risk of Covid-19 because most of the deaths have been reported in people over the age of 60. However, a new report by the CDC found that in the U.S., 38% of people who were hospitalized for Covid-19 were between the ages of 20 and 54, and 12% of ICU beds were taken up by people aged 20 to 44 years. Even if the virus doesn’t kill you as a young person, it can still make you very sick.

The truth about treatments

Researchers and doctors are searching for effective treatments for this coronavirus, but the work has just begun. Know that there is no treatment for Covid-19 that has proven to be safe and effective.

Chloroquine and the closely related drug hydroxychloroquine have been around for decades. Chloroquine is used to treat malaria and hydroxychloroquine is used to treat autoimmune conditions such as lupus. The drugs, generally considered to be safe for most patients, can have side effects including seizures, nausea, vomiting, deafness, vision changes and low blood pressure. DO NOT TAKE THESE DRUGS without medical supervision.

Chloroquine is being fast-tracked for clinical testing as a treatment for COVID-19, however, it can have deadly side effects — particularly if accidentally ingested by children.

There is limited evidence, partly from studies on human cells, that they could have antiviral effects — one hypothesis being that they could make it harder for the novel coronavirus to bind to human cells.

Remdesivir is another experimental drug being trialed. The antiviral has been used for other coronaviruses, SARS and MERS, as well as Ebola.

Doctors in China, France, the United States, and other countries are using the drugs experimentally in Covid-19 patients, but there is not yet sufficient clinical evidence that it’s effective in humans. That’s why trials are needed. They take time and we do not have the answers yet.

“Using untested drugs without the right evidence could raise false hope and even do more harm than good and cause a shortage of essential drugs that are needed to treat other diseases,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday.

Stay at home to save lives

As a doctor, it’s hard to hear my colleagues on the frontlines of the pandemic pleading for more masks and gowns so they can stay protected. While the federal government has mobilized industry to make more masks, I keep hearing stories of people stepping in and donating masks and gowns. Fashion designers are sewing masks and engineers are making them with 3D printers. It’s truly amazing to hear how people are stepping in to try and help.

But, here’s the thing — you don’t have to have a 3D printer to help. All you have to do is stay at home. Stay home and you reduce your chances of contracting or spreading the virus. While many people are heeding this advice on their own, more than a dozen states have issued orders essentially requiring residents to stay at home. As of today, with more state orders in effect, more than 40% of the US population is now officially being urged to stay home.

Now, staying at home doesn’t mean everything is shutting down. Essential services such as groceries, pharmacies, gas stations, food banks, convenience stores, and delivery restaurants have remained open in many states, as have banks, law enforcement agencies, and some local government offices.

If you do need to be among other people, limit your gatherings to no more than 10 people and remember to keep 6 feet between yourself and others.

RRHD confirms first positive case of COVID-19 in Madison County

RRHD has confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in Madison County. If you have general questions about COVID-19, please call our hotline at 540-316-6302. For the latest on COVID-19, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.

Please continue to avoid groups larger than 10, wash your hands, clean and disinfect surfaces, and stay home when you’re sick. Help us flatten the curve.

Here’s everything you need to know about social distancing

To stop the spread of coronavirus, health officials have instructed the public to practice social distancing — staying home, avoiding crowds and refraining from touching one another.

Although living like that can be lonely, inconvenient and even frightening, it’s for the greater good, says Danielle Ompad, an associate professor at New York University’s School of Global Public Health.
“It’s uncomfortable,” she told CNN. “But it requires us to be good citizens. People have to learn how to think about the collective rather than the individual.”
To help you do that, we answered your biggest questions about social distancing…
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/21/health/social-distancing-coronavirus-faq-wellness-trnd/index.html

How long can COVID-19 live on surfaces?

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can live in the air and on surfaces between several hours and several days. The study found that the virus is viable for up to 72 hours on plastics, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper. It is also detectable in the air for three hours.

 

COVID-19 NOTICE

The health and well-being of our patients is our most important concern and will continue to be our priority through these difficult times.

The Madison Free Clinic is not a walk-in clinic – please call for appointments or for clinical questions. Visits that can be delayed safely will be rescheduled to reduce the number of patients moving through the clinic. Dental referrals will be for emergencies only at this time. We are not closing, but we are prioritizing cases that cannot wait.

We will continue to provide prescription coverage.

We ask that patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, or respiratory symptoms call the clinic so that appropriate steps can be determined. If you need medication or have a follow-up appointment, please call first for phone
screening.

To apply for or to renew your Free Clinic coverage, please visit https://madisonfreeclinic.org/new-patient-application/

540-948-3667
intake@madisonfreeclinic.org

Expanded Hours!

New Hours

We are very pleased to announce that we have recently expanded our hours. The clinic is now open:

Tuesdays 3 – 6 p.m.
Wednesdays 9 a.m. – noon
Thursdays 4 – 7 p.m.

Please check the eligibility requirements, then give us a call at 540-948-3667 to schedule an appointment.