Tiny Little Ticks Can Be a Big Problem!
By Dr. Suchita Kumar Division of Infectious Diseases Although ticks are small in size, they have the potential to cause serious health...
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illness in both animals and people. The 2003 SARS outbreak, also known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, is a well-known coronavirus. In January of 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a new coronavirus outbreak, now called COVID-19, which was first detected in China. While it is still too early to fully understand COVID-19, our number-one priority is to support the health and safety of our team members and patients.
This is an emerging virus, so there are still many unknowns, including how easily or effectively the virus is spreading between people. As with all respiratory viruses, it is advisable to limit close contact (within six feet) with an infected person. Coronaviruses are also spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or by touching an infected surface or object and then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes, but it is unknown if COVID-19 spreads in this way. For the most updated information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Share the Facts, Stop the Fear page.
Symptoms are similar to an upper respiratory infection and may include:
More cases of COVID-19 are expected to be diagnosed, much like the other epidemics that we have experienced over the last 15 years. But it is important to know that 80 percent of COVID-19 cases are mild or without symptoms. Like the seasonal flu, COVID-19 infection is more severe in patients with chronic underlying health conditions and the elderly.
You can be tested if your primary care provider or health care professional determines you should be tested for COVID-19 and orders the test. Learn more about Reliant’s test procedure here.
Many health insurance companies across the country have stated that they will cover the full cost of any testing for COVID-19. However, it is a good idea to check with your specific insurance company to ask about coverage of the test.
At present, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. If you become infected, you will receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. You can help prevent the spread of the virus by following the steps listed on the What to Do if You Are Sick page of the CDC website.
Until there are more answers, you are advised to follow good prevention practices, including:
CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, and practice social distancing especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Don’t travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick.
This situation is evolving, so please visit the CDC Information for Travelers website for the latest guidance.
The CDC says that now is a good time to assess individual and family preparedness but advised that preparations do not need to go beyond what is needed for a natural disaster or an infrastructure disruption. Preparedness typically includes making a plan, making a kit, and staying informed. Resources are available from the US Department of Homeland Security, the CDC, and the Red Cross.
This situation is fluid and evolving quickly. For the latest information, guidance and travel alerts, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 homepage and the World Health Organization website. Understanding the facts around the virus will help reduce stigma and panic.
What should I do if I get sick or someone in my house gets sick?
Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. CDC has directions for people who are recovering at home and their caregivers, including:
However, some people may need emergency medical attention. Watch for symptoms and learn when to seek emergency medical attention.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
What should I do if I’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID 19?
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should be tested, even if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Call your primary care provider’s office to set up a time to be tested.
No. The person who traveled should follow Massachusetts travel orders: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order
Visit the CDC’s FAQ page for more information: