Showa Day. The clinic is closed.
Many patients and their families expressed their concerns about not knowing to what degree they should be worried about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It is understandable that people are feeling unease. It is also very important for people to be mindful of responding to it proportionately.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are common in different animals. Classical coronavirus infection causes common cold with minor symptoms. In contrast, the new coronavirus is responsible for the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a possibly lethal respiratory disease. COVID-19 can infect both humans and bats, similar to the coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS. The clinical course of COVID-19 is not completely understood. Symptoms typically appear after 1~12.5 days of contact with sick people.
According to Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), “as of 20 February 2020 and based on 55924 laboratory confirmed cases, typical signs and symptoms include: fever (87.9%), dry cough (67.7%), fatigue (38.1%), sputum production (33.4%), shortness of breath (18.6%), sore throat (13.9%), headache (13.6%), myalgiaor arthralgia (14.8%), chills(11.4%), nausea or vomiting (5.0%), nasal congestion (4.8%), diarrhea (3.7%), and hemoptysis (0.9%), and conjunctival congestion (0.8%)" (p.12).
Most patients get well within a week. Some may develop pneumonia that causes several symptoms such as prolonged high fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. There is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19 for the time being. As such, the major therapeutic approach is to relieve the symptoms. Elderly people and people with underlining diseases such as lung diseases, heart diseases, kidney diseases, diabetes, and immune deficiency are at high risk.
Things we should do include:
Wash your hands with soap and clean, running water
Don't touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Virus enters through these routes
If you are sick, wear a mask
Stay home when you are ill
Cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve, not your hands
If you are worried about getting regular pneumonia, which may be caused by simultaneous infection with bacteria and flu, you may wish to consider pneumococcal vaccination and flu shots
We have to keep in mind that the symptoms of COVID-19 mentioned above are frequently found in other diseases such as common cold and flu. Are you worried about your symptoms? We do not refuse patients who may have flu-like symptoms. Please contact us for an appointment.
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