I hate to break the news to you, but it seems like this new Coronavirus (COVID-19) is going to make its way around. I hope I am wrong and that diligent self quarantine will minimize exposure in the USA and we can all dodge a bullet. However, we want our office and our patients to be as best prepared as possible. I will update our site with new blogs as the information comes out.
Let’s talk about some basic facts about the virus first. (More details here)
- It is spread person-to-person via droplets (think cough, sneeze, etc). The virus can live in droplets on objects (handles, counters, railings etc.).
- It takes 2-14 days from exposure until illness.
- Symptoms include fever, cough, and varying degrees of breathing difficulty.
- There is no treatment beyond symptomatic relief (ie acetaminophen for fever, cough meds etc.).
Here is what we do (and mostly DO NOT) know about pregnancy and COVID-19 (More details here)
- Like any respiratory illness (ie influenza), pregnant women may be higher risk for respiratory issues that can make this more intense for them, and higher risk than the general population.
- There is limited data on fetal effects of this illness. Comparing this with other viral illness, there could be increased risk of adverse events, but we just have no idea right now. More information will come to light as this spreads and new clinical recommendations will be made available to us.
- At this time there is no evidence of vertical transmission to babies (ie, from mom through the placenta to babies).
- At this time there is no evidence of transmission in breast milk. However, an infected mom should take respiratory precautions as to not spread it to their baby while they are nursing.
Lastly, and most importantly, here is what you need to do if you are sick with a febrile upper respiratory infection.
- Do not come to the office.
- Do not come to the office if you have a temperature over 100.4
- Do not come to the office with any sign of viral illness
- Do not come to the office for evaluation of COVID-19, we cannot help and you are exposing others to infection. It is not worth risking others to exposure for any kind of appointment for you. We do not have no-show charges for our appointments. We can always delay visits, sonograms, fetal testing, etc until your illness subsides. Call our office at 919-781-6200 and speak to a nurse. We can guide you to the best of our ability over the phone.
- Do not go to urgent care, the emergency room, your primary doctor etc. unless you are in respiratory distress. All you will be doing is spreading this virus to others. There is not a way for these places to even test you for COVID-19. All testing at this time is run on an individual basis by the North Carolina Division of public health. You can reach them if needed by calling 866-462-3821. There is no treatment these places can offer you either. If you have respiratory distress call 9-1-1 and get taken to the hospital where they can put you in isolation and help your breathing until you recover.
- There are going to be times that you wonder if you have influenza or COVID-19. It is my opinion that at this point in time with all the unknowns of the COVID-19 virus, you should not go to get an influenza test either. Just treat your fever and cough with over the counter meds and stay well hydrated. Again, with respiratory distress call 9-1-1 and go to a hospital and be in an isolation room.
- You are always free to call our office at 919-781-6200 and speak to us to provide the best plan for you over the phone.
In summary, we do not know a whole lot about when it will come, or how bad it will be, or pregnancy effects. Please, if you feel the slightest bit sick, isolate yourself at home. Do not go to work or come to our office or go to other public places potentially exposing others. Treat your symptoms and use the medical system for emergent needs like respiratory distress.