Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically cause upper respiratory symptoms. There is a new coronavirus circulating, SARS-CoV-2, which leads to an illness called COVID-19. While its presence in Mississippi is limited, we expect it will become more widespread.
The virus causes fatigue, fever, body aches, cough, and sometimes shortness of breath, but like other viruses, there is no treatment other than symptomatic care. This includes Tylenol/Motrin for fever and body aches and extra fluids. People of advanced age and those with underlying conditions (heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease) appear to be at higher risk for more severe infections. Because of these potential risks, we recommend you continue on all of your routine allergy and asthma medications as prescribed. Optimal asthma control will limit the risks for complications from respiratory infections.
Additionally, common sense measures may help limit the spread of this disease. This includes avoiding close contact (at least 6 feet) with those who are sick; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; washing hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; using tissues to cover coughs and sneezes; and frequently cleaning touched objects and surfaces (e.g cell phones and door handles).
The spread of COVID-19 in other countries has been worsened by people flooding emergency departments and medical offices. Because of this, we recommend staying home if you have mild symptoms. The infection may be easily spread, even with mild or no symptoms.
Our office does not have testing available for COVID-19. Unless symptoms are severe, we urge you to not come in and not call for appointment. We are working to maintain the excellent care expected at the Mississippi Asthma and Allergy Clinic. This may mean a disruption in our usual follow up visits, but we will stay in contact and update our policies as needed.
We have staff available to answer any questions you may have, but our best advice is to stay calm, continue to take any routine allergy and asthma medications as prescribed, wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home if you feel ill but are not having any significant respiratory problems.