Quick facts about the diagnosis and treatment of COVID 19:

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Dr. Chappell has created a list of things concerning COVID-19 as of April 7, 2019. Hopefully this list will answer many of your questions or concerns.

  1. The most common symptom is fever usually associated with a cough.  Stomach symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea can also be present.
  2. Regardless of age, any who develop these kinds of symptoms should stay home and try to avoid spreading their illness.
  3. Testing has become more widely available such that any who develop the above symptoms can be tested. If you are at high risk for complications of COVID 19 (over age 65, have diabetes, serious heart conditions, COPD,  other lung diseases such as moderate to severe asthma,  on dialysis, have chronic live disease or are immunocompromised) or are in close contact with someone who may be at high risk, we would advise that you be tested. If you are at low risk it is not essential that you be tested but doing so will help us track the disease in the community.
  4. Testing can be done at the Wayne Community Health Center. Please call ahead. We have a testing area set up apart from the clinic. Results are usually back within 3-5 days.  During that waiting period we would ask that you self-quarantine until results are back.
  5. In Utah, 9% of those testing positive are requiring admission to the hospital. Of these, almost half have required intensive care.   The death rate for Utah COVID 19 patients currently is less than 1%
  6. If you don’t have any risk factors, should you become infected, there is a greater than 95% chance you will not need to be hospitalized and a greater than 99% chance you will not die from this.
  7. Those most vulnerable – our older neighbors, especially those with accompanying chronic illness – are at especially high risk of not doing well. It is the responsibility of all of us to help protect them and to do our part in avoiding the spreading of the virus.
  8. While there are multiple drugs currently being studied, none have been proven to be effective for treating COVID 19.
  9. Hydroxychloroquine, alone and in combination with Zithromax, has shown some promise in isolated cases. These drugs are currently being aggressively studied. They are being used only in hospitalized patients and in patients participating in studies. We hope to have more information on the potential use of these medications outside the hospital in the near future.
  10. There are multiple tests in the works that will be able to tell a person if they have had COVID 19 and now carry antibodies against the virus.  We’re optimistic such tests will be available in the clinic in the not too distant future. .
  11. While it is expected the general population will be able to gradually move back into more normal life within a few weeks, those at high risk will likely need to practice self-isolation until a vaccine comes out.
  12. Wide spread vaccination is unlikely to be available until early 2021

Jeff Chappell, MD

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