Dr. James Earhart
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus which appears to be highly contagious and easily spread from human to human by close contact. Many people may experience only a mild form of the disease manifested as a common cold type presentation: cough and cold symptoms with fever.
At this time, there is no antiviral medication to treat this infection. Treatment is limited to managing the symptoms with liberal fluid intake, good nutrition and common medications used to treat colds and fever.
Some people, especially those at high risk (people 65 and over and those with chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, chemotherapy, for example) may experience more serious manifestations and may require confirmation with the COVID-19 testing or even medical evaluation and hospitalization.
It is recommended that if you have the above mild symptoms and have been exposed to a person or persons with positive COVID-19 test (or are in the process of testing) that you stay home, self quarantine yourself and contact your primary care provider for further instructions.
Currently, due to limitation of test kits, only people who are high risk and meet testing criteria are the ones being tested. This may change as more kits are available and the situation changes.
At any time that you become concerned about your health condition please contact your PCP. Also, please avoid going to the emergency room if you have only the mild symptoms listed above. If you feel the need to go based on associated shortness of breath or worsening symptoms, if at all possible, you need to call in advance.
By limiting office visits for potentially mild disease we hope to further limit the exposure to patients at high risk including health care providers and thus be good stewards of our limited resources.