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Hello to all.
Many of my patients have been asking what they should do if they are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus. Please see below for information on the Coronavirus and how it is spread and our official statement on the protocol for the prevention and avoidance of the spread of Coronavirus infection.
I hope this information is helpful and will help you navigate through this very stressful time.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new type of potentially deadly viral infection that is new to humans and causes a disease that is novel in humans. To best explain the nature of this infection and how it spreads, I will refer you to the CDC website where you will find easy to understand and up-to-date information about the Coronavirus COVID-19:
Why is it essential for us to arm ourselves with information about COVID-19?
Coronavirus COVID-19 was first identified in China and has crossed many international borders. It has now been designated as a pandemic infection, and a worldwide effort is being made to contain and minimize the spread and to eliminate this infection.
What do you do if you think you may have the Coronavirus?
If you or anyone you know has had an actual or suspected exposure to COVID-19, please access the link before below for a fast and efficient evaluation of your symptoms and how to get tested in a timely fashion.
I came across a great article by James Robb, MD FCAP from The University of California, San Diego. He offered some sensible tips on how to prevent being infected with COVID-19:
1. NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
2. Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. Elevator buttons, etc. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
3. Open doors with your closed fist or hip; do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. This is especially crucial on bathroom and office/commercial doors.
4. Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
5. Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
6. Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.
7. If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!
What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:
1. Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.
NOTE: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average. Everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces, and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs). The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.
2. Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (on average we touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it). This is the only way this virus can infect you; it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth; it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.
3. Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.
4. Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.
Dr. Robb stated that he hoped that this pandemic would be reasonably contained, BUT that he does not think it will be. He said that humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. He also states that tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.
And on a final note from me:
Please stay safe, rested and hydrated, and ensure that you adhere to the tips as outlined above and also maintain good immune health by taking maintenance doses of vitamin D as directed by your doctor or healthcare provider, in addition to zinc and vitamin C supplementation. Thank you.
I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.
I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email.
-James Robb, MD FCAP-