Words of the Editor-in-chief (Part II)
We are following the news of this COVID-19 pandemic around the world and many countries affected like China, South Korea, Italy, France, United States etc. have contributed to more than 165,000 infected people around the world and almost 7,000 deaths. All continents have their cases and the Caribbean islands included Santo Domingo, Jamaica, Virgin Islands have seen their load of patients suffering with the disease.
I am sure that many messages have reached your desk from patients looking for re-assurance in this difficult time. I urge you to follow the guidelines of the CDC and the US Government on how to proceed if you present with signs of high fever, cough, chest pain or difficulty in breathing. Although, it is better to avoid Hospital Emergency Rooms, it is suggested that you call your Primary care physician and let him decide on what to do if such symptoms were discovered.
We have heard of a Trauma Hospital which had a member of its team tested positive for the Coronavirus. Useless to say that all the team had to be placed in quarantine in order to protect others.
The reason to avoid hospital and Emergency room is to assure that you will not expose yourself or others. The best way in protecting self is to follow the guidelines of the CDC. Being exposed in a waiting room at any hospital is not the safest way of looking for care.
High supplement of Vitamin C, and being healthy are the best way to condition your body and fight the virus. Do not take anti-inflammatories if you have an increase in temperature, but be sure to discuss it with your PCP.
By next week, the US government will place in different locations, teams able to take specimen and perform the test to detect the offending virus. It will take two or three days before having any result. From what I heard from the news, because the disease has a predominance for the old patients with co-morbidities, preferences for the test will be given to the oldest at the site of contact with the healthcare team ready to take the specimen, free of charge.
Please avoid any meeting or conference and try to eliminate unnecessary gatherings for your well-being. Most of the schools and universities will be closed as well in other to avoid self-contamination. Avoid any closed contact (6 feet or 2 meters) with an individual COVID-19 suspected to be infected while visiting or caring for the patient or simply while being in a waiting area.
Be Safe and we should expect a reduction in the cases. Avoid direct contact with an infected case because infectious secretions can become a contaminant.
Please visit the CDC site at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html
Maxime Coles MD