by Dr. Janet Casey
We know you are inundated with news and information about Coronavirus, but we felt it important to let you know some basic information and how Legacy Pediatrics is going to approach patient care during this time.
First, some information about the symptoms of COVID-19 to help you possibly recognize it if you or a family member becomes ill with the virus. Following exposure, symptom onset is between 2-9 days with a median of 5 days. The virus is spread through droplets expelled from coughing and sneezing. Unlike influenza’s sudden onset of symptoms, infection with COVID-19 starts a bit slower with some body aches, decreased energy, low grade fever and cough. There is minimal if any runny nose or congestion and about 80% of people have only these symptoms and the infection resolves in 14 days. Progression to more severe symptoms occurs in the second week of illness. It is an average of 8 days to the development of shortness of breath and on average 9 days to pneumonia.
As you may have heard, children are faring well with this illness with most children having mild symptoms and very few children progressing to more severe illness. There are a number of theories as to why this is occurring but nothing definite has been established. The elderly and those with chronic cardiac or respiratory problems are at greatest risk for developing severe illness and requiring medical attention and admission to the hospital.
The most effective way to avoid infection is to wash your hands often with anti-bacterial soap for at least 20 seconds and to not touch your face. Use good cough/sneeze techniques by coughing into your elbow and using tissues to cover your face with sneezing. If your child or you are feeling ill, stay home until your symptoms resolve.
Legacy Pediatrics will be following the CDC’s guidelines for the identification and care of patients with suspected or confirmed infection with COVID-19. If you have questions please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov for the most up to date information on COVID-19. The CDC is recommending that patients with possible symptoms and an exposure history to an area with widespread infections to stay home and call your health care provider. Do not go to the ER or the office!
Our specific protocol for handling possible infections in our patients:
- If you suspect infection with COVID-19 and your child has the above symptoms, please call the office. DO NOT come to walk-ins and DO NOT make an appointment. We will set up a telemedicine visit for that day to assess your child’s symptoms and determine appropriate level of care.
- If you do come to the office, we ask that you return to your car and call the office so that we can determine the best course of action.
- All testing for COVID-19 is being done through the Monroe County Health Department. Legacy Pediatrics will not have the ability to test for the infection.
Legacy Pediatrics’ goal during this time is to keep our patients, their families, and our staff safe, and to avoid exposures. We have a very limited number of surgical masks and will not be able to mask a potentially infected person before they enter our office so it is imperative that the needed visits occur via telemedicine visits.
We will update this information as this situation changes. Thank you so much for your teamwork as we move through this difficult and challenging time.