The 2019 – 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic is here in Southwest Florida. The disease was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China in December 2019, and has spread rapidly all over the world.
Symptoms include: flu-like symptoms, such as fever, coughing, breathing difficulties, fatigue and myalgia.
Incubation period is between 1-14 days. We are learning more about this virus every day.
Mode of transmission: human-to-human transmission via respiratory droplets.
Prevention: Avoid close contact with sick individuals, frequently wash your hands with soap and water, do not touch your face, and practice good respiratory hygiene.
We are open during this Pandemic. Our goal is to keep your children (and you) safe during this concerning time. We want you to use our office, with it’s controlled environment to minimize your chance of being exposed to disease. Our goal is to leave the Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers for acutely ill people.
We are offering appointments in the office, as well as ‘tele-visits.’ We are staggering appointments so that you should not encounter another patient while you are here. We have a sick and well waiting room set up – with a hallway that has reverse air flow in between- again to minimize exposure to disease. We have a ‘well team’ and a ‘sick team.’ The nurses will stay on respective sides. We also have ionizing air purifiers in the building to assist in a cleaner environment.
Before entering the office, you will be screened for exposure to COVID-19. You will be asked the following questions:
Have you or any of your contacts been around someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19? Suspected of having CO
VID-19? Being tested for COVID-19? Or being treated for COVID-19?
Do you or any of your contacts work in the hospital, urgent care center or doctor’s office? In your job, do you encounter patients with COVID-19?
Have you recently traveled within or out of the country? If yes, do you or anyone you are in contact with have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, PLEASE, DO NOT COME INTO THE OFFICE! Talk to the staff and let them know which questions were answered positively.
If you feel that you might have Coronavirus or have been exposed, you should ‘self monitor’ for fever, cough, or other respiratory symptoms for 14 days. Avoid contact with sick people (actually people, in general). Delay any travel plans until no longer sick. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday twice). Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue away as soon as possible.
If you are worried about your child having Coronavirus, please inform the staff on the phone. I, personally, will call you back to discuss. We are very fortunate that most children have very mild disease if they even get it. Please know that we are here for you in this difficult time with the most expert care for your children.
Annette M. St. Pierre-MacKoul, MD