Covid 19

Covid 19 is a novel (new) coronavirus. The virus can be transferred from person to person, typically in respiratory secretions. Talking, coughing and sneezing can all release these secretions and transmit the virus from one person to another. Respiratory droplets typically do not linger in the air and do not typically travel more than six feet, hence the recommendation of social distancing to six feet. The virus is capable of becoming aerosolized and can remain viable in the air for 3 hours. The virus can also linger on solid surfaces. The virus remains viable on copper surfaces up to 4 hours, up to 24 hours on cardboard and may last days on plastic and stainless steel. Fortunately, the virus is easily killed by alcohol containing hand gels and soap and water, so be very meticulous about hand washing and also be aware that transfer from a surface typically takes place when a person touches a contaminated surface and then touches his or her face transmitting the virus into an orifice such as the eye, nose or mouth. Infection with the virus typically causes a dry cough, fever, shortness of breath and myalgia (muscle aches) or fatigue. Some patients may initially present with diarrhea and nausea prior to developing fever. Newer reports indicate that some patients are presenting with loss of smell and taste sensations. Most people infected with the virus will have only mild symptoms, but certain patients are at high risk of developing severe pulmonary complications from the disease. These patients are typically older (age greater than 65) and have coexisting medical conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure or pulmonary disease). Our patient population consists of a high number of elderly patients and patients with coexisting medical conditions. In an effort to continue to serve our patients’ medical needs we are attempting to provide remote care (telemedicine) so our patients do not have to leave their residence to be seen by a provider. The patient needs to have access to a computer with a camera and microphone or a smartphone or tablet.  We will continue to do our best to maintain your medical care during these difficult times and also do our part to prevent further spread of the virus in the communities we serve.