Do I Have Coronavirus?
This is a question we are being asked on a regular basis. The short answer is, yes, it is possible you or your child may have Coronavirus. While this sounds like a scary situation, please remember that the vast majority of patients who develop Coronavirus have mild disease. Listening to the news, it would appear that developing Coronavirus means dire health consequences. However, most people recover from this novel virus without serious complications.
Typical presenting symptoms include:
– dry cough
– chest pain or tightness
– body aches
However, children may present differently with other symptoms including:
Children have generally had a milder course of illness than adults.
There have been some reports of losing sense of smell or taste prior to onset of symptoms, but that has not been confirmed as a presenting symptom.
If you or your child have these symptoms, it is possible it is Coronavirus, but it could be due to other viruses as well. We advise all parents and patients to assume that the symptoms are due to Coronavirus and to treat as such. This means self-quarantine and monitoring symptoms, treating fever with Tylenol, resting, and encouraging fluids. It can take 2 weeks or longer to fully recover from symptoms.
Remember that Coronavirus is a VIRUS and that there are no proven treatments at this time. What is known as “supportive care”(Tylenol, stay at home, rest, fluids) and allowing your own body to fight the infection are the only current recommendations. While certain medications are being tested, there is no scientific evidence at this time supporting the use of antivirals, Zithromax, Chloroquine, or Hydroxychloroquine.
With regard to testing, we are following the current recommendations from the Maryland Department of Health, which states that those who have mild symptoms do not need to be tested. Assume it is possibly Coronavirus and treat it as such. For those who do develop symptoms, contact us for further recommendations regarding evaluation and management. TELEMEDICINE VISITS ARE AVAILABLE. Those patients with chronic underlying conditions or are immunosuppressed can be tested and monitored more closely.
If you or your child is a generally healthy individual without underyling chronic medical conditions, please do not go to urgent care or to the emergency room to be evaluated unless having more serious issues. A small percentage of individuals will develop more concerning symptoms, such as breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, blue lips, confusion or mental status changes. Please contact us for worsening symptoms that warrant urgent evaluation.
The most important measures you can take to prevent Coronavirus include staying at home, social distancing (at least 6 feet apart from others), wearing masks or cloth covering of nose and mouth when in public, washing hands often, and wiping surfaces.
Stay healthy and stay safe!
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