Coronavirus, also known as the 2019-nCoV or COVID-19 virus, has become a serious global public health problem with over 200,000 confirmed cases as of March 17, 2020. In Florida, 365 residents are currently being monitored as of March 14, 2020. The number of Florida residents whose tests came back positive have already reached 70.
Understandably, fear is gripping the world as countries struggle to contain the spread of the virus, which impacts travel, businesses, and economies. Preventive and mitigation measures are already being implemented in Florida to stop the spread of the virus. On March 1, 2020, the State Health Officer declared a public health emergency.
Should you be worried?
Panicking can do more harm than good. As long as you strictly follow health advisories, you have little to worry about. Despite the seemingly exponential increase in the number of cases worldwide, scientific evidence shows that COVID-19 infection can be cured and most patients can overcome the infection as long as they have prompt and appropriate treatment.
Elderlies and those who have current medical conditions are strongly encouraged to take preventive measures to protect themselves.
If you have respiratory symptoms, then following self-quarantine and public-distancing protocols, as well as disinfecting and observing personal hygiene, will not only protect yourself but everyone you encounter as well.
At Urgent Care of the Palm Beach Gardens, we are at one with the World Health Organization in curbing misinformation. Here’s what we know about the 2019-nCoV, so far.
1. The symptoms are similar to other coronaviruses.
COVID-19 patients develop fever, dry cough, muscle pain, fatigue, and breathing difficulties. The less common symptoms may include headache and diarrhea. In the worst cases, the patient may cough up blood and develop kidney failure and pneumonia. All of these can be tested and detected at clinics or hospitals.
2. More than 80 percent of the cases are mild.
According to The Washington Post, 82 percent of the cases globally are mild and may need little medical intervention. COVID-19 is quite different from SARS, (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which affected 8,000 cases in over 26 countries in 2003 but had an 11 percent fatality rate, according to the World Health Organization.
The proportion of patients healing from COVID-19 infection is also increasing as experts learn more about the nature of the virus. According to recent data, cured cases are 13 times higher than critical cases or fatalities.
3. Children under 20 are more resilient to the virus.
Kids can get the infection but they exhibit mild or unnoticeable symptoms. Also, the mortality rate of patients under 40 is only 0.2 percent. It’s the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and auto-immune deficiencies who are at the greatest risk.
4. Cleaning off with 70 percent alcohol can kill the virus.
Since the public health alert, experts have been reminding people to wash their hands frequently or use sanitizers with 70 percent alcohol content. The virus can live on inactivated surfaces for several hours but it can be killed in a minute by wiping with alcohol.
Experts say that a 20-second handwashing routine can protect people better from getting sick, but advise against DIY hand sanitizers because they don’t have the right alcohol concentration.
5. There is no vaccine yet.
Currently, there is no treatment for the virus. Only the symptoms are being managed. Experts around the world, however, are developing and performing trials for vaccine prototypes to fight the pandemic.
How to protect yourself?
Aside from getting adequate sleep and eating a good diet to boost the body’s immune system, experts at Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches walk-in clinic, Wellington reiterate that the best protection against COVID-19 for now includes:
- Frequent hand washing and good hygiene may also protect those who are not infected.
- Wearing face masks, especially if you are going to crowded areas where social distancing is not possible.
- Avoiding social contact as much as possible.
- Taking it upon yourself to self-quarantine if you have a travel history to places with a high number of cases or if you were in contact with someone who tested positive.
- Seeking medical help immediately once you experience symptoms to get yourself tested.
Learn more about 2019-nCoV from experts in urgent care Palm Beach Gardens
If you want to learn more about the 2019-nCoV, you can ask our physicians at Urgent Care of the Palm Beach Gardens walk-in clinic in Wellington. They are more than willing to answer any questions you might have about the disease.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.