Corona virus update 3/8/2020

Corona virus has now (3/8/2020) been detected in 4 patients in Pennsylvania. The patients in Wayne and  Delaware County had either traveled to a high risk country or been exposed to a confirmed case outside Pennsylvania. I do not know details about the 2 cases listed since Friday. There is no evidence yet of community spread in Pennsylvania but it is likely to occur. 

At this point, let me uge everyone who has not had appropriate immunization for influenza (6 months and older)since August 2019 or Pneumovax 23 (once at 65 or once before 65 for people with significant neurological, lung, cardiac, liver, kidney, cancer, immunologic, or rheumatologic conditions) to call us quickly at 610-667-0650 to get these vaccines. These vaccines are made from killed viruses and cannot make you sick. Getting those infections can weaken you and make you more susceptible to complications from Corona virus. Also, the health care system is likely to be busy enough dealing with Corona virus to have to  deal with easily preventable diseases.

Information from China about hospitalized patients showed that the most common symptoms were fever (99%), fatigue (70%) and dry cough (60%). Patients who needed to be admitted were more likely to have become short of breath by day 5 of symptoms and were admitted by day 7. The patients most likely to require ICU care were older (median age 66), have underlying illnesses (72%), shortness of breath (64%) and loss of appetite (67%). I have not seen any studies of non-hospitalized patients in China but have heard that children have been relatively spared from serious effects. 

What to Do:

Prevention:

Protecting Others:

Author
Margaret S Lytton Physician

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