CORONAVIRUS ADVICE FROM A LOCAL DOCTOR PROVIDED TO MY NEIGHBORHOOD GROUP

I thought this was interesting, sorry it is so long. I didn't edit it. It helped me, so I thought some of my friends here might like to read:

"Being a physician, and having some experience with treatment and knowledge of the emerging medical literature on COVID-19, I hope folks don't mind if I share some thoughts that you may not have heard and that may prove useful to you. Please understand that, as you will see, much of this represents my own personal analysis of the problem and is not meant to constitute formal medical advice, or to take the place of that given by your own provider.

1). Please don’t be consumed by excessive fear of contracting the virus. In my mind, in a way, and maybe perversely, we can take comfort in seeing that celebrities like Tom Hanks, members of Congress and others of highly visible political stature are contracting the virus. They give a face to the reality that typically, they just feel like they have a cold or the flu, and then they reliably and uneventfully get better by staying at home, self-isolating, and following common sense health practices.

2). The death rate from contracting the virus in patients under 40 appears to be quite low and comparable to that of influenza (approximately 0.2% or 2 patients in a thousand). It is likely that, even in that group, the risk of death is higher in individuals with autoimmune disease or who are otherwise immune compromised, and even those people are likely to do fine and just get better. So, for the most part, DON’T GO CRAZY THINKING YOU RE GOING TO DIE. And if you are elderly and mostly healthy, don’t be excessively worried about reports you read that the death rates in patients of advanced age are much higher. I strongly suspect that death rate is magnified by the fact that many of those elderly suffer from severe dementia or other medical conditions that make them not candidates for aggressive care in the hospital or in the intensive care unit.

3). Speaking of aggressive care in the intensive care unit, I am an ICU physician, and I can assure you that we know how to treat this virus, and ICU doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists have all the expertise locally we require to do so. The complications caused by this virus that make ICU admission necessary demand no different or novel treatments than other similarly sick patients in the ICU. To be honest, my biggest worry in taking care of these patients is not the risk I take in treating them. We know what to do to minimize our personal risk. I am more concerned that we will run out of the personal protective equipment like masks, eye protection, and other necessary body coverings. Please… PLEASE don’t go out and panic-buy N- 95 masks. We need those masks to do high risk procedures like intubation and bronchoscopy on COVID-19 patients and they are in short supply. The fact of the matter is that the virus is spread by droplets rather than aerosol under all but the most unusual circumstances. What that means is that if you’re insistent on using masks at home or on the go, just buy regular surgical masks – they will be much cheaper, and under almost all conditions you are likely to encounter, will be comparably effective. Don’t wear the masks so long that they get wet from your breathing. They lose their effectiveness as a barrier when that happens.

4). Children appear to be as susceptible as adults are to contracting the virus. But…curiously, young children don’t seem to get as seriously ill as adults do. We don’t understand why, but there are 2 theories currently. One is that young children are constantly exposed to viruses and are frequently sick with respiratory infections. Since most coronaviruses “merely” cause the common cold, there may be some crossover immunity with COVID–19. The second is that children have many less landing sites, called receptors, in their nasal tissues, so it is harder for the virus to get a firm hold and overwhelm their immune systems as opposed to those of adults. I don’t personally know if this is also true of newborns, whose immune systems are very immature – My personal belief is that it is prudent just to keep them at home and not let them get exposed to the outside world.

5). Originally, public health authorities overwhelmingly concentrated on testing patients who had a relevant travel history to places where infection was known to be present. But now, we have passed the time when travel history is important. Without question, the virus is now in the community. Hunkering your entire family down in your home is really the right thing to do to minimize your risk. It may be a difficult sell, but this is really important for your teenager or young millennial in his or her 20s to understand. As the Wall Street Journal has recently shown, this is a group that largely feels they are bulletproof, and they tend to resist adopting social distance measures (South Padre Island, anyone?) If your teenager insists on playing pickup basketball with a group of his or her friends, there’s a lot of sweat and other secretions that are being passed back and forth. Once one of those children is infected, the whole group will be, and your teenager will be bringing that infection home to you.

6). Since the virus is spread by droplets, it’s helpful to maintain a 6-foot distance from your family and friends as much as you can reasonably tolerate. The droplets spread by infected individuals tend to drop off markedly beyond that distance. Technically, this goes for people who are not known to be infected. Keep in mind that it takes an average of 6 days from the time you are infected to when you will show symptoms.

7). If you get sick with a respiratory illness that could ultimately prove to be COVID-19, don’t take ibuprofen to treat your fever. Use Tylenol instead. The former may actually worsen your signs and symptoms.

8). The official name for this virus is now SARS-CoV-2 rather than COVID-19. If you start seeing the former in the press and publications, they are one and the same.

9). This may be overkill, and I readily admit it – it is my personal habit, and I cannot honestly say that we have enough information to formally recommend it. There is some evidence that the virus may stay active for a while on surfaces that are touched by people who are infected. That means that if infected folks cough or sneeze into their hand, then place it on a touch pad in the grocery store or a gas pump handle, they may be transmitting viruses to those who immediately come behind them. I have taken to putting on a simple vinyl glove or my right hand just before I pump gas or hit the touch pad at HEB, then removing and disposing of it immediately afterward, not touching the outside of the glove while doing so. Again, this is just my practice. It is not a proven strategy. At this point, we really have no evidence that you can catch the virus this way, so don’t panic if you don’t do this. 10). Another practice in my family that just seems prudent. In addition to washing our hands frequently, we periodically wipe down the surfaces of places we touch frequently in the house (handles of refrigerators, microwaves, kitchen sink faucets, stove) with bactericidal/virucidal wipes, such as Clorox disinfecting wipes. Again, this is not a proven strategy, but as infected patients tend to be asymptomatic on average for those 6 days I mentioned above before they show symptoms, it may be a way to minimize exposure. Please don’t take this as gospel or necessarily run out in a panic to get the wipes – it’s really MOST important to wash our hands before and after touching common surfaces. I am thinking that if you do a variation of this, might be good to also wipe down your car steering wheel and shifter and door handles once you get home from being out and about (and touching lots of stuff) – and don’t forget to wash your hands first before you do so. Speaking of wipes, be aware that the vast majority of medical disinfectants kill bacteria and viruses as they DRY, so dedicate a bit of time to allow drying before touching those surfaces again if you really want to not be exposed to the germs you are working to kill. "


EDIT: SORRY - I posted this in the wrong place. I thought I was in General Discussion. Can a moderator move it for me?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2020 06:47PM by roflwofl.

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Well worth reading! rofl taco, thank you very much for sharing this.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Things are changing so rapidly some of what the doctor said is already out of date. The death rate among under 40 is higher, it was just found the virus may be capable of traveling 15 feet and healthcare professionals are already running dangerously low on supplies.

While understanding the need to correctly identify the virus, am I the only who thinks the resulting confusion over what is now the third name to be used, SARS-CoV-2, could do more harm than good?

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
There was an interesting article in the New York Times yesterday about the virus and loss of smell. For those who do not want to register to read, I am copying it here. Be warned, I have tried to edit a bit and it is still longsmiling smiley

Lost Sense of Smell May Be Peculiar Clue to Coronavirus Infection
Doctor groups are recommending testing and isolation for people who lose their ability to smell and taste, even if they have no other symptoms.

A mother who was infected with the coronavirus couldn’t smell her baby’s full diaper. Cooks who can usually name every spice in a restaurant dish can’t smell curry or garlic, and food tastes bland. Others say they can’t pick up the sweet scent of shampoo or the foul odor of kitty litter.

Anosmia, the loss of sense of smell, and ageusia, an accompanying diminished sense of taste, have emerged as peculiar telltale signs of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and possible markers of infection.

On Friday, British ear, nose and throat doctors, citing reports from colleagues around the world, called on adults who lose their senses of smell to isolate themselves for seven days, even if they have no other symptoms, to slow the disease’s spread. The published data is limited, but doctors are concerned enough to raise warnings.

“We really want to raise awareness that this is a sign of infection and that anyone who develops loss of sense of smell should self-isolate,” Prof. Claire Hopkins, president of the British Rhinological Society, wrote in an email. “It could contribute to slowing transmission and save lives.”

The British physicians cited reports from other countries indicating that significant numbers of coronavirus patients experienced anosmia, saying that in South Korea, where testing has been widespread, 30 percent of 2,000 patients who tested positive experienced anosmia as their major presenting symptom (these were mild cases).

The American Academy of Otolaryngology on Sunday posted information on its website saying that mounting anecdotal evidence indicates that lost or reduced sense of smell and loss of taste are significant symptoms associated with Covid-19, and that they have been seen in patients who ultimately tested positive with no other symptoms.

The symptoms, in the absence of allergies or sinusitis, should alert doctors to screen patients for the virus and “warrant serious consideration for self isolation and testing of these individuals,” the academy said.

Dr. Rachel Kaye, an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Rutgers, said colleagues in New Rochelle, N.Y., which has been the center of an outbreak, first alerted her to the smell loss associated with the coronavirus, sharing that patients who had first complained of anosmia later tested positive for the coronavirus. “This raised a lot of alarms for me personally,” Dr. Kaye said, because those patients “won’t know to self quarantine.”

In the areas of Italy most heavily affected by the virus, doctors say they have concluded that loss of taste and smell is an indication that a person who otherwise seems healthy is in fact carrying the virus and may be spreading it to others.

“Almost everybody who is hospitalized has this same story,” said Dr. Marco Metra, chief of the cardiology department at the main hospital in Brescia, where 700 of 1,200 inpatients have the coronavirus. “You ask about the patient’s wife or husband. And the patient says, ‘My wife has just lost her smell and taste but otherwise she is well.’ So she is likely infected, and she is spreading it with a very mild form.”

A study from South Korea, where widespread testing has been done, found that 30 percent of some 2,000 patients who tested positive for the coronavirus reported experiencing anosmia.

Hendrik Streeck, a German virologist from the University of Bonn who went from house to house in the country’s Heinsberg district to interview coronavirus patients, has said in interviews that at least two-thirds of the more than 100 he talked to with mild disease reported experiencing loss of smell and taste lasting several days.

Another physician who studied a cluster of coronavirus patients in Germany said in an email that roughly half of the patients had experienced a smell or taste disorder, and that the sensory loss usually presented after the first symptoms of respiratory illness, but could be used to distinguish people who should be tested.

Dr. Clemens Wendtner, a professor of medicine at the Academic Teaching Hospital of Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, said that the patients regained their ability to smell after a few days or weeks, and that the loss occurred regardless of how sick they got or whether they were congested. Using nasal drops or sprays did not help, Dr. Wendtner said.

Several American patients who have had symptoms consistent with the coronavirus, but who have not been tested or are still awaiting test results, described losing their senses of smell and taste, even though their noses were clear and they were not congested.

Andrew Berry, 30, developed a fever and body aches about 10 days ago, and then a sore throat and debilitating headaches. He tested negative for influenza and has not gotten the result of a coronavirus test taken four days ago, but his physician was convinced that he had the virus, he said.

Now, Mr. Berry said, he literally cannot smell the coffee.

“Even with a clear nose, I just realized I couldn’t smell the food that I was cooking, and I couldn’t taste the food that I was making,” said Mr. Berry, a tattoo artist based in Orlando, Fla. He was cooking a plantain dish with onions and vinegar, yet he could not smell it.

Amy Plattmier, a woman from Brooklyn, was not tested for the coronavirus during a recent illness, but her husband then became sick and had a positive test. Ms. Plattmier said she usually had a very sensitive nose, but now could barely smell anything — not the bleach she was using to clean the counters, which usually makes her feel nauseated, or the dog’s accident in the bathroom, which she cleaned up.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Lisa,
This article presents valuable clues that real people may find extremely useful in self-monitoring and considering when they decide to limit interactions with others. I have passed it on to friends and family and asked them to pass it on further.

There have been so many reports of "false negatives" for tests in people who turn out to actually have the virus that physicians and caretakers need to become detectives, looking for clues that really can be useful indicators.

Thank you!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2020 08:42PM by walesmaven.
I thought it would be a great tool. Obviously the percentages are not so high as to assume you don't have the virus if your sniffer is working just fine. But noticing a difference and self-isolating right away can have a huge impact.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Wow that was really nice of you to share that info with us. Please thank your doctor because he didn't have to take time out to write that. I'm sure he's swamped as well. Thanks again!! Good Luck!
Yes changing the name could cause some to think that it's a 2nd virus in addition to Covid-19 but as long as they state the name has changed it should be fine but why can't they continue with same name?
My nose has never been particularly sensitive, so it would be hard for me to tell if it stopped working.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
KathyG,
Take a whiff of bleach. That should be a good test. Seriously.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I believe the NY Times has waived their subscription fee for articles having to do with the virus, just for future reference. smiling smiley

Kim
Now that you took the time to copy all of that...lol

Kim


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2020 03:31PM by kimmiemae.
I read the same article and immediately wondered...
*warning! potentially offensive remark! read at your own risk!*

Harkening back to the early supposition regarding covid-19 as biological weapon: is anosmia important in harm? Someone who cannot smell or taste will not notice when they ingest harmful substances, whether those be comestibles that cause adverse reactions and typically are avoided (sweets and booze for some), rancid foods, or poisons.


*Back to your regularly scheduled thread*

Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It's about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity. - Guy Fieri
@kimiemae, it was a bit of a pain. I did it because free or not some people don't want to use links.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
That's a good point. Thanks for the time you took to do that. Now go have a spiked latte!

Skrewball!

@LisaSTL wrote:

@kimiemae, it was a bit of a pain. I did it because free or not some people don't want to use links.

Kim
For anyone reading this and doesnt know what I meant, Skrewball is the brand name of a peanut butter whiskey. It is GREAT in a mocha latte. it is also great with milk of choice and Godiva.

Kim
@kimmiemae It is really good with a little Chambord, too. Like PB & J!

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
@kimmiemae Shortly before Christmas some relatives were visiting from out of town and told me about Skrewball. They went to Total Wine to buy a bottle for friends and brought back several airline sized bottles. I have never before considered drinking just whiskey on the rocks. Now it's my newest bad habit, LOL.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Mine too.

@LisaSTL wrote:

@kimmiemae Shortly before Christmas some relatives were visiting from out of town and told me about Skrewball. They went to Total Wine to buy a bottle for friends and brought back several airline sized bottles. I have never before considered drinking just whiskey on the rocks. Now it's my newest bad habit, LOL.

Kim
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