CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 FAQs
Q: What is COVID-19?
A: (Dr. Knox-Lee) Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illnesses in people and others spread among animals including camels and bats. In people, the coronavirus family causes illnesses like the common cold. Almost everyone gets one of these viruses at some point in their lives. Most of the time the illness only lasts a few days.
The COVID-19 virus is a new coronavirus that can cause respiratory illness and spread from person to person. Because it is a new virus, humans haven’t yet established natural immunity to it which is why it is spreading around the world. Many people with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness, some get very sick, and a small number of people die from the infection. Studies at present seem to show that healthy children are largely spared the serious and life threatening forms of COVID-19. The population most vulnerable to COVID-19 are older adults and people with underlying chronic illnesses.
Q: What are the symptoms and signs?
Symptoms can occur within 2-14 days after exposure to someone known to have COVID-19 disease. Symptoms can vary from person to person. COVID-19 symptoms are similar to influenza, common cold and other viral illnesses. Symptoms for COVID-19 are characterized by mild presentation including cough and fever. There also can be a runny nose and sore throat. Shortness of breath is a less common but a more concerning symptom.
If your child has a fever, runny nose and cough, but looks well, provide lots of fluids, monitor closely, and call us with any concerns. If your child’s symptoms worsen, or if your child has any respiratory distress or shortness of breath, then contact Eden Park immediately for guidance.
Q: How do I protect my children and family?
The best way to protect your child is the same way we protect for most illnesses, including:
- Clean hands often by using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Encourage smaller children to sing “Happy Birthday” to gauge 20 seconds.)
- Alternatively, you can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Teach your children to to cough into a tissue and then discard. Alternatively, cough into an elbow.
- Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing/fever).
- Continue good cleaning and disinfecting of high-touched surface areas (tables/countertops, door handles, cell phones). Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work well.
- Use appropriate disinfectants for the surface you are trying to clean.
- Launder items (stuffed animals/clothing/bed linens) using the warmest appropriate water setting according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
Q: What happens if my child gets it?
First and foremost, don't panic. Thankfully at this point, COVID-19 appears to be a relatively mild illness for the vast majority of children. You should care for your child as you would with other illnesses (encourage rest and fluids, use fever-reducing medications for comfort, etc.) and monitor particularly for any increased work of breathing. If you have concerns at any point regarding how your child is doing, give us a call. The providers and staff at Eden Park are here and prepared to ensure your child remains safe throughout their recovery.
Q: Can I get my child tested?
Testing for COVID-19 is becoming increasingly available. The cases for which testing is indicated is, and will continue to be, based on the recommendations and guidance provided by the CDC and PA Department of Health. These recommendations are changing daily and, as always, Eden Park will continue to remain up to date in regards to providing the best care for our patients as the situation evolves.
Q: How is it treated?
The best treatment is supportive care; just like you would treat other viral respiratory illnesses. This includes rest, fluids, and fever-reducing medications for comfort. Antiviral medications are being developed (think Tamiflu) but are not yet available.
Q: How is Eden Park Pediatrics responding to the coronavirus?
We are doing everything we can to ensure that every patient, family member, and visitor remains safe and healthy in our offices. We’ve added extra cleaning and sanitizing precautions and have arranged separate offices to be used for sick and healthy children. We will continue to track recommendations from the AAP, CDC, state and local health departments, and other sources.
Q: Should I reschedule well child visits?
Right now, we’re urging everyone to keep all well visit appointments, because that recommendation follows CDC guidelines, and because it’s always critical to keep kids up-to-date on routine care and immunizations. The CDC recommends that we minimize disruption to daily life to the extent possible. We have arranged for only preventive visits in healthy children to be done at the Lancaster office and the Mount Joy offices, and the sick visits to be done at our Brownstown office. Sick patients will be brought directly into a patient room once they’ve arrived at the office to minimize any waiting room time.
Q: What can my child while schools are closed?
The recommendation for social distancing does not mean you must keep your kids inside for the next 2 weeks or more! They can play outside. They can get caught up on reading, play games, start new craft projects and help clean out closets and toys! Avoid large groups of kids and areas where kids touch/lick/kiss/slobber on everything! Use hand sanitizers or soap and water frequently.
Q: If I’m pregnant, do I need to worry?
We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness. We do not know at this time if COVID-19 would cause problems during pregnancy or affect the health of the baby after birth. Protect yourself by frequent hand washing and avoiding people who are sick.
Q: Can I breastfeed my infant if I have or might have COVID-19?
A mother with confirmed COVID-19 or who is symptomatic should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant, including washing her hands before touching the infant and wearing a face mask, if possible, while feeding at the breast. For more information on COVID-19 and breastfeeding, click here.