There is currently no specific treatment for or vaccine to prevent Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), but the best way to prevent getting sick is to avoid being exposed to this virus in the first place. By now, you’ve probably stocked up on supplies and are practicing social distancing. Many stores are offering free delivery so you don’t have to go out unless absolutely necessary. But if you do go out, it is now recommended to wear a cotton mask over your nose and mouth to protect you and those around you. If someone in your home is sick, they should stay away from the rest of the household to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in your home. You should also avoid sharing personal household items such as cups, towels and even toothpaste.
Aside from the normal protocol, if you are 65 and older, have asthma, or HIV or have other underlying health conditions, you are automatically at a higher risk for complications from the coronavirus.
People 65 years and older
If you are 65 and older, and/or if you live in a nursing home, or long-term care facility, you’re at an even higher risk for serious illness as a result of exposure to COVID-19. Residents of nursing homes tend to be more frail, have more functional limitations, and have more chronic and complex conditions than other older adults. This can be attributed to severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease, or diabetes which seems to increase the risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
People with asthma
People with moderate to severe asthma may be at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 due to the affect it can have on your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). It can cause an asthma attack, and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease. It’s important to keep your asthma under control and continue using your current medications, including any inhalers. Make sure you have a 30 day supply of prescriptions and non-prescriptions on hand in case you need to stay home for a long period of time. Avoid asthma triggers like the following can also keep your asthma under control:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Secondhand smoke
- Dust Mites
- Outdoor Air Pollution
- Cockroach Allergen
- Pets (especially if they are furry)
- Smoke from burning wood or grass
- Intense exercise
People with HIV
Scientists are still studying the effects of COVID-19, and at the present time, we have no specific information about the risk of serious illness in people with HIV. However, we do know that for those people with HIV who have a low CD4 cell count, or have HIV and are not being treated for it, have an increased risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. People with HIV can also be at increased risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 based on their age and other medical conditions. As more studies are conducted in the coming weeks and months, more will be determined about how COVID-19 affects people with HIV.
People with underlying medical conditions
People with underlying medical conditions, especially if conditions are not well controlled, are at an increased risk of complications due to contracting the coronavirus. These include:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, organ transplants, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
Symptoms for COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
We are continuing to serve our patients through our delivery service, or our drive-through portico for the safety of our employees and customers, and limiting access to the store itself. Give us a call, or ring our bell for service.