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Daily Journal
     March 13, 2020      #61-73 KDJ

Tackling the coronavirus; tackling fear 

By Jeff Bonty

KANKAKEE — As we deal with coronavirus, one local medical official has sage advice.

During a recent Riverside Healthcare podcast, Dr. Keith Moss encouraged the community to let the healthcare professionals help you.

The Riverside vice president and chief medical officer went a step further.

“Don’t give in to fear,” he said. “The most important thing I can tell people is we are going to do everything we can to control this outbreak that is going to make things easier.”

Kankakee County Health Department Administrator John Bevis said there have been no positive cases in Kankakee as of Wednesday afternoon.

“The questions and answers are ramping up. People are reaching out to get answers and I applaud them for that,” Bevis said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the worldwide death toll for coronavirus is more than 4,500 as the virus has been confirmed in more than 100 counties. There have been more than 125,000 reported cases.

The U.S. death toll rose to 33 and the number of U.S. cases is no more than 1,100. CDC Director Robert Redfield told a congressional committee the virus has spread to at least 38 states.

Bevis and Moss said washing hands, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze and cough, and staying home if you don’t feel well are best practices.

Symptoms include a temperature of 101 degrees, coughing and shortness of breath. Moss said if you feel you have symptoms, call your doctor.

“Do not go to the doctor’s office,” he stressed. “You don’t want to infect others. Call your doctor and they will decide if further testing needs to be done. If you don’t have a provider, call the health department for assistance,” Moss said.

Moss said there is an incubation period of five days after someone comes in contact with a person infected with the virus.

“You will not show symptoms right away,” Moss said.

Bevis that the coronavirus will affect people here.

“It’s a matter of when someone gets it, not if,” Bevis said.

Contact the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-889-3931 or visit their website at www.dph.illinois.gov for directions about testing and treatment. Please do not go to the hospital or your physician’s office first, you could risk infecting others.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Is 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) the same as the SARS virus or MERS?

A: No. COVID-19 is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012 but is similar in that it is causing respiratory illness.

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-2019?

A: People who are infected with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have developed mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and potentially respiratory distress. There are many types of illnesses that can cause these types of respiratory symptoms. Individuals who have these symptoms and have traveled to an area of sustained or widespread transmission (Level 2 or Level 3: CDC Travel Notice) in the last 14 days prior to symptom onset or have had close contact with someone with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact. Your healthcare professional will work with the local health department to determine if testing is appropriate.

Q: Does COVID-19 spread from person to person?

A: COVID-19 has been shown to spread between people. It’s not clear yet how easily COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person. Human coronaviruses typically spread through the air by coughing and sneezing.

Q: How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

A: Diagnosis occurs through laboratory testing of respiratory specimens. Some coronavirus strains cause the common cold and patients tested by their health care provider may test positive for these types. The SARS-Co-V-2 (COVID-2019) strain can only be detected at a public health laboratory.

Q: Can I still travel to China or other countries where COVID-19 cases have occurred?

A: CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to areas of widespread transmission (Level 3: CDC Travel Notice). If you must travel to an area with a Level 3 travel warning, the current CDC travel notice advises travelers to follow standard precautions, such as hand washing, avoiding contact with people who are ill, and avoiding animals. You should also consult with your health care provider prior to travel, as some individuals may be at increased risk for more severe coronavirus disease.

If you are planning to go to an area with a Level 2 travel warning, CDC recommends older adults and those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing non-essential travel. All travelers should follow standard precautions including avoiding contact with sick people and cleaning your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.

Some areas have been listed with Level 1 travel warnings for COVID-19 (CDC Travel Notice) . At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to areas with Level 1 travel warnings. If you travel to an area with a Level 1 travel warning, you should follow the standard precautions listed previously (avoid sick people, wash your hands often).

The latest travel updates are available on CDC’s web page Traveler’s Health.

Q: What if I recently traveled to the outbreak area and got sick?

A: If you develop a fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after traveling to an area of sustained or widespread transmission (Level 2 or Level 3: CDC Travel Notice), you should immediately should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact. Your healthcare professional will work with the local health department to determine if testing is appropriate.

Q: How can I help protect myself?

A: CDC advises that people follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. If you have not already done so, discuss influenza vaccination with your health care provider to help protect you against seasonal influenza.

Q: Is there a vaccine?

A: No. Currently, there is not a vaccine for COVID-19.

Q: What are the treatments for COVID-19?

A: Currently, there are no specific treatments recommended for illnesses caused by COVID-19. Medical care is supportive to help relieve symptoms.

Q: What should healthcare providers, laboratories and health departments do?

A: Health care providers and laboratories should report suspect COVID-19 cases immediately (within 3 hours) to their local health department, who should report cases to IDPH within the same time frame. For recommendations and guidance, see the IDPH Coronavirus Page or the CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Q: What are public health departments in Illinois doing about this situation?

A: IDPH and local health departments have implemented heightened surveillance to identify and test patients most likely to have COVID-19. Public health experts are communicating with and educating health care providers and other public health partners about the current situation. Measures are being developed to prevent the spread of illness in Illinois.

Frequent communication with the public will be available through the IDPH Coronavirus Page.

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a new coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

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Jeff Bonty
With the Clean Ticket Company, your money goes to those who do the work!
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