Unless a Phoenix resident was alive during the flu epidemic of 1918-1920, they haven’t experienced anything like what is happening now with COVID-19. Having already killed more patients in the United States than in any other country, it is clear the illness is deadly.
As of April 28, the Phoenix area had experienced 3,572 reported cases and reported 135 deaths. On the same date, Arizona had seen 6,725 reported cases and 275 reported deaths statewide. To help combat the disease, an “Arizona Testing Blitz” is scheduled starting May 2 for three Saturdays. They hope to test 10,000-20,000 Arizonans.
Responding to the virus threat, our office has added telehealth visits and is offering an alternative to urgent care by providing same-day appointments in person, when necessary. Our goal is to keep our patients well, whether it is COVID-19 or any other problem.
Whatever you do, don’t rely on random advice from the internet. Go to credible sources. We have compiled some common questions here. There are direct links to experts at the bottom of the page.
What are Coronavirus symptoms?
If you have the coronavirus, you may not know. You may think you have the cold or flu. Symptoms are familiar: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, and possible stomach upset.
Unlike the flu, a dry cough and/or difficulty breathing are Covid-19 symptoms. Patients report symptoms similar to pneumonia and bronchitis.
The most surprising symptom may be the loss of smell and taste. While this doesn’t always signal a major case, it is definitely a warning sign. Some patients have reported a tingling in their limbs or on their skin. Doctors have reported that some children have discolored toes, indicating broken blood vessels.
A lack of oxygen is another signal; however, patients can’t necessarily tell that this is happening. This is why many hospitals are using an oxygen sensor as well as a thermometer when determining how sick a patient is.
In yet another example, strokes have been linked to COVID-19. And these are occurring in younger patients (30s, 40s), not just the elderly.
Even after saying all of this, it is important to note that most cases are mild. All suspected cases should be reported to a doctor for consultation. There are things we can do to help keep you combat the disease.
What should you do if you are sick?
If it feels like the flu or you have been exposed to a COVID patient, call our office to find out how to get tested.
If your diagnosis is confirmed, our telehealth appointments make it easy for you to stay home and get the attention you need. Of course, we can also help you even if your sickness isn’t the virus.
For the most part, patients are urged to treat symptoms as you would with any other virus. Get extra sleep, rest, drink fluids, and use fever meds wisely. Acetaminophen can help, but pay close attention to dosing information. It is imperative not to drink wine, beer or other alcoholic drinks while infected with the coronavirus.
If you can’t breathe, call 911 or have someone drive you to the ER.
Who is most at risk of hospitalization?
- The elderly and those over 60 are considered high risk.
- Fatality rates are highest among those with lung diseases, heart problems, cancer, diabetes and other pre-existing chronic conditions.
- However, some younger patients have become so sick that they ended up in the hospital.
- Truly it is impossible to predict who is at risk without seeking good medical advice on a patient by patient basis.
- Even if you aren’t experiencing life-threatening symptoms, you are urged to stay in touch with your doctor.
How can you avoid the coronavirus?
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Maintain a six-to12-foot distance from others as much as possible.
- Stay away from those who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid crowds.
- If in public, wear a mask and gloves. When you can, wash your gloved hands before removing the gloves. You are protecting others not just yourself when you do these simple things.
- You find out more about the Arizona quarantine here.
- You can find out more testing in Arizona here.
What medicines can help coronavirus patients?
- Specific medications have not been developed to counter this virus.
- However, antibiotics may be prescribed to try and stop the spread of the virus into the lungs.
- Steroids may be recommended to reduce inflammation.
- Certain prescription cough medicines may be helpful.
- If hospitalization becomes necessary, a ventilator may be used to help the patient keep breathing.
Call us to schedule Covid testing, a telehealth appointment, an in-person appointment, or for more information.