Your Concierge Doctor gives You information on the New Corona Virus Outbreak and Prevention

March 11, 2020
We are all concerned about the coronavirus.  The risks are low to the average healthy person. If you have medical conditions or are elderly the risk of death is more. it is too early to have exact statistics. Most people will have a mild illness and recover.
The most important things to do:
wash your hands- front, back, fingers,in between- for at least 20 seconds
don’t touch your face
cover your coughs and sneezes
stay away from sick people and crowds ( stay away from church, gyms, sporting events, concerts, conferences)
do not travel
stay home if you are sick
If you have traveled recently or had contact with a traveler and have fever, cough, shortness of breath the recommendation is to stay home and eat well. Stay hydrated. Use over the counter medications for symptom control.  If you are having difficulty breathing or very ill call the ER before you go. Torrance Memorial Hospital”s phone number is 310-325-9110.
If you have question please call me.
This is the official information from the California Department of Public Health:
An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified starting in Wuhan, China. Some patients have had mild illness, while others have been more severe and some have died.
The California Department of Public Health (the Public Health Department) understands there are concerns about novel coronavirus, and understandably so. Although coronaviruses are a group of viruses that aren’t new, this is a new type of coronavirus and we are still learning about it. However, the health risk to the general public in California remains low. While COVID-19 has a high transmission rate, it has a low mortality rate. From the international data we have, of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, approximately 80 percent do not exhibit symptoms that would require hospitalization. California is carefully assessing the situation as it evolves.
We are actively working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with local governments, and health care providers across the state to protect your health.
As of March 4, 2020, as of 10 a.m. Pacific Time, there are a total of 53 positive cases and one death in California: 24 are from repatriation flights. The other 29 confirmed cases include 12 that are travel related, seven due to person-to-person exposure from family contact, three due to person-to-person exposure in a health care facility, four community acquired and three from unknown sources.
  • For the latest information on repatriation and federal management, please see this statement from the CDC.

What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals and humans. In rare cases, animal coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to humans. This novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a newly discovered coronavirus that has not been previously detected in animals or humans. The source of this virus is not yet known.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
In some cases, COVID-19 can cause more severe respiratory illness.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

Most people with illnesses due to common coronavirus infections recover on their own; there are no specific treatments for coronavirus infections. For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care. We are continuing to learn more about this novel coronavirus and treatment may change over time.

How is it decided whether a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 can self-isolate at home or must be confined to a hospital or elsewhere?

Local health departments are working in partnership with the California Department of Public Health and the CDC, and making determinations on whether a person ill with COVID-19 requires hospitalization or if home isolation is appropriate. That decision may be based on multiple factors including severity of illness, need for testing, and appropriateness of home for isolation purposes.

What can the public do to limit the spread of COVID-19?

The California Department of Public Health recommends the following steps to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:
  • Washing hands with soap and water.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding a cough or sneeze.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick are all ways to reduce the risk of infection with a number of different viruses.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough

What is the difference between COVID-19 and other coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are some coronaviruses that commonly circulate in humans. These viruses cause mild to moderate respiratory illness, although rarely they can cause severe disease. These normal human coronaviruses can be identified with widely available laboratory tests.  Those laboratory tests do not identify the novel coronavirus associated with COVID-19. It is closely related to two other animal coronaviruses that have caused outbreaks in people—the SARS coronavirus and the MERS (middle east respiratory syndrome) coronavirus.

Is California able to test for COVID-19?

The California Department of Public Health announced on February 28, 2020, that new CDC test kits used to detect Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) now available in California can be used to do diagnostic testing in the community. California will immediately receive an additional shipment of kits to test up to 1,200 people. This means California public health officials will get test results sooner, so that any patients will get the best care.
California Public Health Laboratories with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) testing capabilities.
Currently, eleven California public health labs have already received CDC test kits and have begun testing. These labs include CDPH’s Laboratory in Richmond, and the Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Tulare, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego County labs. The CDPH Laboratory will provide diagnostic testing within a 48-hour turnaround time. More public health labs will soon be able to test, ramping up to a total of 20 public health labs in California in the coming weeks.  California Public Health Laboratories are working together as a network to provide novel coronavirus testing state-wide.  All requests for coronavirus testing for public health purposes must be submitted through a licensed health care provider and be approved by the Local Health Department prior to laboratory testing. COVID-19 California Map (PDF)
What is the state doing to protect our health?
The Public Health Department is working closely with the CDC to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19. Screening of incoming passengers at two California airports — Los Angeles International (LAX) and San Francisco International (SFO) — is ongoing. This is to identify people who have symptoms that could be due to COVID-19 so that they can receive appropriate assessment and care. The California Department of Public Health has been prepared and is continuing with the following actions as the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves:
  • Activating the State Operations Center to coordinate response efforts across the state.
  • Continuing to prepare and respond in coordination with federal and local partners, hospitals and physicians.
  • Providing information, guidance documents, and technical support to local health departments, health care facilities, providers, schools, universities, colleges, and childcare facilities across California.
  • Coordinating with federal authorities and local health departments that have implemented screening, monitoring and, in some cases quarantine.
  • Engaging with local health departments in managing suspect and confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients

As your concierge physician I welcome your questions and comments.