coronavirus

Important notice

Please take note that Primary Care Providers, including GP’s and their Staff are working on the front line and are very vulnerable to Infection. We therefore ask you to be aware that you should not visit the doctor’s surgery if you…

 

  • Have had contact with someone diagnosed with the Coronavirus
  • OR
  • Have symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection/flu
  • OR
  • Have travelled overseas within the last 14 days.

 

  • Under these circumstances, we ask of you that you don’t visit the practice, but organize for a Telephonic Consultation.
  • (see below how to organise a telephonic consultation)

Questions that you may be asking

What is the Sars2-Covid virus?
The SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), is one of a large group of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-COV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The Corona Virus is a zoonotic infection, meaning that it is derived from animals, in this case most likely originally from bats, thought to be mediated through pangolins, and emerging in a large seafood and live-animal market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
How does the Virus Spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which land on objects and surfaces around the person. People can be infected by close contact with that person, being in close proximity or by touching surfaces where the droplets fall, and then touching their face, nose or mouth. It is important therefore, to stay at least a meter away from a person who is sick. The virus can be transmitted in aerosolised droplets and can reach up to 2 metres, though airborne transmission from person to person over long distances is highly unlikely. The virus is possibly present in faeces at a very low level.

How can I protect myself, my family and those around me?

Older adults and people who have server underlying chronic medical conditions are at higher risk, should take vigorous precautions and discuss with their doctor if uncertain.

  1. Clean your hands often and thoroughly. If soap is not available, use a sanitizer solution that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  3. Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, taps and sinks.
  4. Practice good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough and sneeze, and dispose of the tissue immediately.
  5. Avoid contact and keep your distance from those who are sick.
  6. Practice Social Distancing – especially in social groups, those who have travelled recently, or those who have been in close contact with an established case.
  7. SELF-ISOLATE if you are unwell, or if you have visited an area where COVID-19 is spreading within the last 14 days.
  8. Seek medical advice by calling your Health Practitioner so they can advise and carry out a telephonic consultation if necessary.

How do I know if I have the Virus?

You are more likely to get it if you have been in close contact with an established case or travelled from a high-6risk area, but this may change if the virus becomes more common in the community.

The most common symptoms can range from very mild to very severe.

They Include:

 

  • Rapid onset dry cough
  • Fevers and Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Diarrhoea (with the above)
Am I at high risk?

The virus is more serious in the elderly, those with chronic conditions and those with depressed immune systems. If you have any of the following conditions, you should be scrupulous to limit contact with others and protect yourself.

 

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Cancer
  • Immunosuppressive Therapy
What do I do if I am sick or suspect I have the virus? – SHOULD I BE TESTED?

Your first thought will probably be that I have to be tested right away!!! ASAP!!!

This isn’t correct.

The current protocol for testing is for those who fulfil the following criteria.

They have signs and symptoms of a flu-like illness

AND

They have had direct contact with a known diagnosis of Corona-virus, or have travelled from an area of high prevalence.

This is for the following reasons…

  1. If you are asymptomatic, you could test negative because the virus isn’t showing itself yet.
  2. If you are ill, or suspect you have Covid-19 you should be self-isolating anyway, and your management would not change.
  3. There is a shortage of tests nationally (and world-wide) so these need to be reserved for those most in need.

This situation may change as more people carry the virus in the community.

The vast majority of people with symptoms will have ordinary upper respiratory viruses which will go away without treatment. If your symptoms are particularly bad, they may benefit from treatment, in which case book a Telephonic Consultation.

What does it mean to limit contact with other people?
The most important thing you can do at this moment is to limit your contact with other people, both to prevent yourself from becoming infected, and perhaps to prevent your spreading the virus which you may not know you have.

The terminology can be confusing but these are the terms in use.

  1. Social Distancing: (to minimize general risk)
    This entails avoiding large groups of people, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance of at least 2 meters. These settings include crowded public spaces like shopping centres and movie theatres. Gyms and busy grocery stores would be included here. It does not mean staying at home all the time, but limiting non- essential trips and being mindful of contacts with other people.
     
  2. Self-Quarantine: (This refers to those who not yet sick, but have been exposed and may become sick.)
    • Measures are the same as for Self-Isolation (see below)
    • Self-Isolation: (This refers to management of those who are infected with the virus)Stay at home, do not go to work/study environments/any public place/GP.
      • No family gatherings
      • Remove yourself from others who live with you, separate sleeping space, bathroom, living area, cutlery, towelling etc.
      • Wear a mask around the house.
      • Careful attention to hand-hygiene
      • Keep the windows open if possible.
      • Your family or living partners will be in quarantine with you, so try to be careful of common touch spots if you are not able to have a separate living area.
    How can I boost my Immune System?
    1. Manage Stress (be pro-active about your mental health)
    2.  Eat a wide range of fresh foods, multiple different kinds of vegetables, avoid sugars.
    3.  Avoid too much alcohol
    4. Don’t smoke
    5. Protect your Sleep
    6. Keep Active
    7. Supplement with Vitamin D, preferably with Sunlight.
    8. Get Vaccinated, for flu and pneumonia if you qualify.
    9. There are many recommendations for vitamin and nutrient supplements. These mostly have little scientific evidence behind them. I will sometimes recommend combinations of Zinc, Sutherlandia and Echinacea on the grounds that they will do little harm, and may possibly help.

    Seeking Medical Care or if you feel you need to be tested.

    If you are ill you should contact your Health Provider for Advice and Treatment Please do not visit the practice if you feel you have a respiratory tract infection. (You want to avoid putting Health Care Workers, their staff and other patients at risk)

    For a link on how to make an appointment for a Telephonic Consultation with Dr Smith or Dr Kerbel see below.

    This is a time for us all to show solidarity, help each other and take responsibility. Let us all work together to curb the effects of this viral outbreak. Arm yourself with information, help your neighbours, stay well and stay safe.

    The National Institute for communicable disease – hotline 0800 029 999.

    Recommended Links

    1. The National Institute for Communicable Disease – SA http://www.nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-index/covid-19/
    2. The Centres for Disease Control – USA https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
    3. The World Health Organisation https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
    4. Dr John Campbell : up to date, clear and concise explanations of all things Corona https://www.youtube.com/user/Campbellteaching/videos
    5. WebMD https://www.webmd.com/lung/coronavirus#1

    How to Organise an Online/Telephonic Consultation

    If you think there is a chance you have been infected with the Corona Virus, you should stay away from a doctor’s surgery, and rather organise an off-site consultation. You may just need some simple reassurance, or more definitive medical treatment. This mode of interaction is runs contrary to our values of how we like to communicate and cultivate relationships with our patients, but strange times call for strange measures. The Online/Telephonic interaction will be regarded as a formal consultation charged at an abbreviated fee, with the appropriate follow up and organisation for Corona Virus Swab testing if it is indicated.

    In order to set up an appointment you can either:

    • Call reception, who will schedule a time for you and answer your questions.
    • Email info@dranthonysmith.co.za and we will get back to you.
    • Text 0824684569, and we will get back to you.

    When you make contact please supply your cellular telephone number and an email address

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