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My take on the Corona virus (Covid-19) 3.10.2020

There’s a lot of different information floating around regarding the Covid-19 (Corona Virus) and I wanted to take a moment to share some information you might find helpful.

  • The incubation period is about 5 days, but can be 2-14 days.
  • Only 59% of patients testing positive had cough, but 99% had fever. There is a winter crud type cold virus going around. One gets a stuffy nose, or sore throat, or cough, but not fever. So fever is much more of a red flag than cough.
  • We have test kits. Today was the first day we have been allowed to test for the virus. It’s a nasal swab, and we get results in 24-48 hours.
  • So if you have a good exposure story or fever, call me. We can test you. If you have runny nose, give sick people a chance to be seen, and don’t worry so much. You’re fine!
  • I’ve received some emails from people who say “this is from a virologist” or something. They’re filled with misinformation.
  • I have some informative valid information reports written for doctors if you want them.
  • IF you’re traveling through an airport, we have an N95 mask for you.

Depending upon how nervous you are, I would emphasize different issues.
If you’re afraid to leave the house, then realize:

  • There are very few documented cases, especially in the desert area.
  • Many more people died from the flu (influenza), i.e. over 18,000 people this year, and Corona appears relatively little in comparison.
  • Most people who get Covid19 have mild symptoms and it is self limited.
  • It tends to cause severe illness in patients who have medical issues and are immune-compromised such as patients with heart disease or diabetes, such as those in the Seattle nursing home.
  • It’s OK to go out to dinner and go shopping, etc. but wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

If you think this whole thing is a crazy panic, then realize:

  • Lots of information, mostly about low transmission rates and mild infections, is coming from WHO-China joint information reports. I don’t trust these sources.
  • We really don’t know how easily it is transmitted, or how many people now sick have this virus but it wasn’t documented with a test. That doesn’t mean the virus is easy to catch or bad, but we just don’t know. The lack of proof and good information does not mean that we know it’s safe. We don’t know.
  • Therefore, especially if you are over 70 years old, avoid crowds for now until we know this is safe. I think it’s fine to go out to dinner, but avoid crowds, like the halls as one goes into the tennis stadium, or the crowds at Stagecoach.
  • The tennis tournament was canceled. Those big concerts are almost certain to be cancelled. This may be an abundance of caution, but it’s not purely “panic.”
  • In the Princess ship that got quarantined near San Francisco, over 600 people were infected (17%), and half of these had no symptoms. It’s not clear how sick they will get.
  • Most of the Princess cruise people who got sick had roommates. They weren’t all coughing.. they were just in the same room.
  • Covid 19 is the illness. The virus is a kind of SARS virus, and SARS was pretty serious to get.

PS Our wonderful and industrious Physician Assistant Mary had a baby boy Friday. So I’m on my own now for a few weeks. :/ Dr Dan

Daniel S. Cosgrove, MD
Internal Medicine
Director, WellMax? Center
45-200 Club Drive #A
Indian Wells, CA 92210

PH 760-777-7698
FAX 760-477-6002