COVID-19 Prevention and Symptoms
Darren Doyle, story:
A Plus Family HealthCare announced today that it has been in contact with the Kentucky Primary Care Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Association of Community Health Centers, Barren River Health Department District, Med Center Health, and Infectious Disease providers to determine the best course of action to mitigate the threat of COVID-19, formally known as Coronavirus.
Clinic officials told the Edmonson Voice today that the most common symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Those affected the most tend to be elderly with underlying health conditions, while younger populations can see COVID-19 presented as a mild cold.
Clinic CEO Patrick Merrit said it's difficult to find information on the virus that is clear and concise.
"Call your primary healthcare provider and tell them your symptoms if you're genuinely worried," he said. "Most primary care providers aren’t equipped with the correct protective gear or a hyperbaric isolation room to properly test, but they can give you directions on how to proceed for proper care. As of right now, the proper testing route is through the Center of Disease Control (CDC). The local emergency rooms can test by nasopharyngeal swab (much like a flu swab) but the patient must meet a certain symptom criteria and be pre-approved by the CDC before the Emergency Room will test. The local emergency rooms are being bombarded by telephone calls because people are in a panic, and right now, we don't feel that need is in Edmonson County or south central Kentucky."
Merritt said the clinic's nurse practitioners are stressing prevention, which include the following: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you are sick, avoid travel and stay at home. If you are sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue and promptly throw the tissue away. Wash your hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
The clinic is also advising those with elderly family members who have underlying health conditions the following:
"Again, we want to stress-- don’t panic," said Merritt. "Use common sense and good hygiene practices. If you have concerns or are exhibiting symptoms, call your primary care provider."