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COVID-19 by Dr. Darryl Addington, NSSAR Surgeon General

12 Mar

COVID-19 by Dr. Darryl Addington, NSSAR Surgeon General

Author: Michael Pitzer


•    Coronaviruses are well known causes of respiratory diseases in humans

•    COVID-19 appears to be a unique form of Coronaviruses.

•    Two of its cousins have been responsible for serious respiratory diseases (MERS and SARS) Transmission:

•    True mode of transmission is not completely known

•    Person-to-person spread appears to be the primary mode of transmission at this time.

•    The likely mechanism is through respiratory droplets (eg cough, sneeze, etc.) or other bodily fluids (eg blood, stool, etc.)

•    Transmission from people without symptoms of the disease have been reported. Incubation  Period  (Time from  exposure to when  symptoms appear):

•    Incubation period is up to 14 days

•    However, majority of individuals show symptoms within 5 days. Symptoms:

•    Fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, body aches are common symptoms

•    Pneumonia is frequent and serious

•    Usually lacks runny nose, nasal congestion typical of common cold. Also, nausea and diarrhea are not a common feature of COVID-19.

•    80% will have mild symptoms, 15% severe symptoms, 5% critical symptoms. On one cruise, half of the confirmed COVID-19 cases had no symptoms.

•    Fatality rate is currently estimated at 2.3%, all within critical cases group.

•   Most fatalities occur in patients with advanced age or underlying medical conditions (diabetes, copd, heart disease, etc.).

•   Recovery time is approximately two weeks for mild and 3-6 weeks for severe disease Preventing   Community  Exposure:

•    Stay at home when you are sick

•    Good hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

•   Wash hands especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after coughing or sneezing.

•    Soap and water preferred but use sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol if don't have access

•    Cover up coughs and sneezes

•    Avoid touching face, eyes, nose and mouth

•    Cleaning and disinfecting objects that are frequently touched

•    For those without symptoms or family contacts, wearing a face mask is NOT recommended

•    Facemasks should be worn by those already sick to prevent further spreading the disease

•    Facemasks are crucial for health care workers or others in close contact with the sick What to Do if You Are Sick:

•    Stay home except to get medical care

•    Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. Close contact means being within 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 patient for prolonged periods.

•    Wash hands often

•    Clean all "high touch" surfaces everyday

•    Monitor your symptoms

•    Influenza treatment must start within 48 hours, so don't wait to contact your physician Should I Cancel my Upcoming Trip, Meeting, Cruise, etc?

•   The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publishes up-to-date warning and recommendations for travelers both within the United States and internationally.  More info can be found here:

•    Specific risk-benefit questions should be directed to your personal physician



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