Ask Dr. David

COVID-19 BLOG UPDATE (March 13, 2020)

March 13, 2020

Dear Friends,

As we all continue to be exposed to news of a new strain of virus (COVID-19) spreading around the globe and within our own borders, it’s completely expected and natural to experience fear, uncertainty, and even anger. We want to assure you that we are all in this together and are constantly monitoring the most up-to-date information. Our team will share this journey with you by providing updates and recommendations on a regular basis to make you well informed, empowered, and confident. Let’s begin with some things we have learned so far:

  • First, a reminder that the vast majority of those affected (80+%) experience a generally mild and benign course consisting of fever and/or cough, with some experiencing muscle aches and fatigue at the onset. In most people, the illness will resolve on its own as a common cold or flu would. As many of you know, we have plenty of recommendations on our website and patient portal on ways to boost your immune system and improve your ability to fight viral infections should you become ill.
  • You are at greatest risk of “catching” this coronavirus if you have prolonged, unprotected, close contact with someone who is symptomatic and confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. Unprotected means no face mask, gloves etc., and close contact, as defined by the CDC, means you are within about 6 feet of the infected individual. Respiratory droplets generally do not travel beyond about 6 feet, even when you cough or sneeze!
  • Those at greatest risk of complications or severe illness are people who are greater than 60 years of age WITH underlying chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems
  • The incubation period (time between exposure and development of symptoms) for COVID-19 is 2-14 days with a median of 5 days
  • Your pet will not likely catch this virus!
  • According to the World Health Organization, it is safe to handle mail and packages, even if arriving from a location experiencing a high level outbreak
  • Recent studies have reported that COVID-19 may last up to 3 hours in the air and up to 3 days on surfaces. PLEASE NOTE, however, studies confirming these findings are ongoing
  • Although not confirmed and lacking in any controlled studies yet, there are suggestions by various experts that COVID-19, like the flu, MAY be less virulent in warmer, humid climates and MAY dwindle as the summer months approach. Casual but expert observations have noted that this virus has taken a tight hold in geographical areas with low humidity and average winter temps between 41 and 52 degrees F. In hotter, more humid climates, the virus has mainly been brought in through travel and has not become as widespread over a short period of time. Although this is entirely theoretical, the possibility exists. 
  • Although there are no current approved medications or vaccines to combat COVID-19, there are a number of trials underway examining various antivirals, interferon, antimalarials, and high dose IV Vitamin C. A vaccine is also being actively pursued. 
  • Please click on the link below for advice on discussing the coronavirus with your kids:
  • Lastly, please call us or your primary care physician ahead of any appointment if you develop any cold symptoms that also includes a fever or cough. We have also posted this in the patient portal under the “announcements” link. By doing so, we can better triage how best to provide care and whether further evaluation is warranted. Currently, in most cases of cold or flu symptoms, it is likely a cold or the flu but this could change rapidly and we will keep the updates coming!