A Letter To Our Patients About COVID-19
Please know that in this time of uncertainty and stress, we are continually monitoring the coronavirus situation through every reliable source so that we can provide you the most up-to-date, credible advice on COVID-19.
The most important thing we want you to know is that, while normal and understandable, panic is not a helpful response to the crisis. From the best information we have available at this time, it appears that the vast majority of people who do contract the virus recover fully with little or no outside treatment. And keep in mind that, of the nearly 154,000 who are known to have contracted it to date, the current worldwide number of deaths currently stands at 5,735. And as testing becomes more widespread, we expect this rate to drop.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t treat this pandemic with the seriousness it deserves. The crucial step, and one that is rapidly being implemented throughout the United States, is social distancing. That means avoiding crowds, staying six feet away from others as much as possible, and practicing good hand-washing hygiene. We believe social distancing is key to containing the spread of the virus, and affords the medical community the best opportunity to effectively treat those who do become seriously ill.
This is especially important for those over the age of 60, and those with underlying medical conditions, which may put them more at risk at developing complications from COVID-19. Such conditions include: heart disease, asthma, emphysema, diabetes, and high blood pressure, as well as those who have recently or may be undergoing treatment for cancer or other immunosuppressant treatment.
Toward that end, we are asking that anyone who believes they may be ill from COVID-19, or any upper respiratory virus, to call us. Please do not show up at our office or to any emergency room or walk-in clinic. This is for your protection as well as that of others. We can advise you by phone, and prescribe medications, if warranted.
We are taking extra precautions at our office to protect our patients. This includes screening every person with a short questionnaire and temperature check before entry. We also have increased our hyper-vigilance for cleanliness, wiping surfaces and sanitizing often.
If you think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or you are exhibiting symptoms and have been to a high-risk area, either in the U.S. or overseas, please call the state health department at 1-866-779-6121 for advice on how to proceed.
The main symptoms of the novel coronavirus are:
- shortness of breath
And unlike with the flu, which tends to produce severe symptoms within a matter of hours, symptoms of COVID-19 seem to develop more slowly over a few days.
It’s important that if you have questions or concerns, we ask that you please do not seek information on the virus from unreliable sources, including from social media. The major news outlets are doing a good job of providing information on this fast-moving, rapidly developing situation. And both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) and the Florida Department of Health (http://www.floridahealth.gov) offer up-to-date, reliable information on the coronavirus.
This is a difficult, stressful situation for everyone, but in the coming days and weeks, as we learn more about COVID-19’s impact, things will begin to get better and the uncertainty will recede. In the meantime, be patient, be as calm as possible, and know that we are here to answer your questions and provide the best information we can.