COVID-19 update with Dr. Benjamin Marcum


Myth 2: Yes, my loved one is sick but I feel fine.  I can go ahead and go to work.

Coronavirus is almost exclusively spread by respiratory droplets.   This means that an infected person coughs or sneezes and expels virus particles or they may even rub their faces and touch surfaces thereby depositing droplets containing virus on those surfaces that others may contact.  Another person puts their hand on a contaminated surface and then touches their face i.e. eyes, nose, mouth.  This is by far the most common way people get the virus.  This usually happens when people have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 or someone who has the virus already in them and is about to develop symptoms of COVID-19 in the next couple of days.  Close contact is defined as being less than 6 feet from someone for 15 or more minutes.  It is possible to pick up respiratory droplets off unsanitized surfaces in the community and that’s how infections are seeded into the homes. However, the majority of community spread happens at home.  

If you or a loved one have symptoms of COVID-19 (even if you or they have not yet been tested), you and everyone in the household should stay home.  It is very possible to stay home and care for a loved one who has COVID-19 and not get the disease if you are careful.  The infected person should wear a medical mask (does not have to be n95) and stay in one room quarantined from others in the house.  Ideally they will have their own bathroom.  They may emerge on a limited basis to interact with family members only while wearing the mask and keep 6 feet away at all times.  But for the most part, they should be kept separate. They and all family members should wash hands frequently with soap and water or disinfect with alcohol solutions over 60% alcohol content. 

If you are caring for a loved one who has symptoms of or has been verified to have COVID-19 you should not to go work.  Many people shed virus (respiratory droplets) for a few days before symptoms develop.  

People in the household who are over 65 or who have diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer or are otherwise immunocompromised should find alternate living arrangements if at all possible.  If that is not possible they should follow strict isolation and handwashing guidelines.  Remember the vast majority of virus is passed from hand to face.  If you know where your hands are (not on your face) and you use purell or wash them after every possible exposure, you are not likely to contact the virus that causes COVID-19.

If you are worried that you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are unsure what to do, you can call Stephenville Medical and Surgical Clinic to be screened for our respiratory clinic and we can help guide you.  Call (254) 968-6051 for more information.

To be clear… if there is a possibility that you have been exposed to SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, you should stay home (don’t work, don’t shop, don’t go around the corner for gas) until the person you have been exposed to proves not to have it (negative test) or 14 days of you having had no symptoms. 

The best course of action is to avoid infection in the first place and the best way to do that is to STAY HOME.

Stay safe, Stephenville,

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