Corona viruses cause the common cold. This strain makes some people sicker than usual and has a higher death rate in vulnerable populations. Transmission is through respiratory droplets that travel through the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is possible that if someone sneezed on a table, then another person touched the table and put their hand in their eye, nose, or mouth, they could contract the disease that way as well.
The initial symptoms are very similar to every cold and flu virus that travels through the population and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. At this time, if a person has these symptoms AND contact with a possibly infected individual (someone with a travel history that puts them in contact with an area or person with known cases) then we are directed to refer that person to the county health department for testing.
At this time, only the county and state health departments have access to the test kits for COVID-19 virus. Local doctors and hospitals do not have them. We do have kits to diagnose many other causes of viral and bacterial upper respiratory illness, and if those are positive for cause of disease then we can worry less about corona virus infection.
Prevention of illness is the same for all other upper respiratory illnesses. Stay home if you are sick! Wear a mask to prevent respiratory droplets traveling out into the air when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands frequently and do not touch your face. Use antimicrobial hand gels when you are not near a sink. Warm water and soap are more effective.
Wash hands and do not touch your face
Eat healthy food with a minimum of sugar and processed foods
Sleep adequately - usually 7-8 hours per night for adults, and up to 12 hours or more at night for children
Hydrate with beverages that do not contain sugar or caffeine
Exercise to your tolerance
Do not smoke or put yourself in situations with second hand smoke as it is a potent immune suppressive and weakens the lungs
Selenium 200mcg per day (specifically helpful for COVID-19)
Astragalus 60 drops up to 4 times per day for adults (specific for COVID-19)
Anti-virals: Wellness Formula, Super Bio Vegetarian, Mushroom Complex, etc.
Gargle with salt water or apple cider vinegar twice daily
Elderberry syrup 1 tsp 3-4 times per day
Vitamin A - high dose
Vitamin D - high dose
The list is long…..and can be tailored to your specific health.
Similar to prevention supplements but in higher doses for short times. If you have the onset of symptoms consistent with upper respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness-of-breath specifically), please contact your provider by phone. Arrangements to consult by phone with the doctor and arrange appropriate care will be made. Remember this is a viral infection and antibiotics will not help. In fact, they often weaken your own defenses and make you more susceptible to severe illness.
Most otherwise healthy people will experience COVID-19 like every other viral illness they have had in their life. If you have a weakened immune system for any reason including age, illness, immune suppression, lung problems, or chronic illness, among others, then this could be more serious for you and taking preventative measures is more important.
If you are prone to lung infections, you should be especially careful and report symptoms early, as this infection has a specificity for the lungs. There are things that can be done ahead to protect the lungs and decrease susceptibility.
Many over-the-counter medicines that are easily available, will both prolong illness and suppress your body’s ability to fight infection effectively. Do not suppress your fever, decrease your snot production, or give your body false energy by taking over-the-counter medicines. Those things will make it seem like you are less sick than you are, leading you to push yourself when you should be resting, and mask your symptoms, making both diagnosis and treatment more difficult. These medicines can prolong illness by decreasing your natural healing mechanisms. Contact your provider about when their use might be appropriate.
Contact your provider if you have questions, feel you are part of a vulnerable population, or have symptoms of illness. The CDC website has reliable information about where there are confirmed cases and what testing is available. Try to avoid getting information from places that make you fearful and stressed. High stress levels increases your susceptibility to infection.
For updated information from the CDC please visit their website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html