COVID-19 GUIDE FOR PARENTS
What is COVID-19?
The coronaviruses are a family of respiratory viruses, some of which have caused severe respiratory illnesses, such as SARS and MERS. The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is called Sars-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). This particular coronavirus is novel (meaning “new”), which means that it is new to humans, thereby able to cause widespread disease in those without immunity. The disease caused by this virus is called COVID-19. Thus, the new human virus known as Sars-CoV-2 causes the disease called COVID-19. Experts believe this virus was initially transmitted to humans from another species.
*Weekly video updates can be found below*
How is COVID-19 spread?
The Sars-CoV-2 virus is an airborne virus meaning that it can be spread through respiratory droplets (sneezing or coughing) and it is more likely spread person-to-person when in close contact with each other (within 6 feet). People exposed to the virus can be asymptomatic and still spread the virus, but it is believed they are most contagious when they are showing symptoms already. The respiratory droplets will land on any surface and can be easily spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes. You cannot As parents, you must also consider the risk of fecal-oral transmission when dealing with your children which is another reason washing your hands often for 20 seconds is highly recommended. One of the largest concerns is community spread because the virus can be spread within an area and you will not know when or how you were infected. This is why large gatherings are not allowed and shelter-in-place has been established to hopefully keep track of the virus and slow the spread.
What symptoms should I look out for?
Those affected by COVID-19 may be asymptomatic carriers or exhibit symptoms ranging from mild to severe illness and even death. Symptoms can appear any time within 2-14 days after exposure to the coronavirus, which is why social distancing is important as well as self-isolation if any possibility of having the virus.
Some common symptoms of the virus include:
- Shortness of breath
There are less common symptoms as well that one should still watch out for including diarrhea, body aches, headaches, and sore throat.
Who is at risk for COVID-19?
Everyone is at risk but there are those that have a higher risk of severe illness including people aged 65 or older, people of all ages with underlying medical conditions and people living in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Kids can be infected by COVID-19, however, they do not seem to be at higher risk than adults for developing the disease. Actually, infected children seem to develop milder symptoms when infected than adults. Pediatric data indicates children at higher risk of severe illness when infected are either under 1 year of age, immunocompromised children, and those with chronic medical conditions (particularly lung conditions).
What if I am pregnant?
There is no current information stating whether pregnant women are at greater risk for COVID-19 or whether transmission to child is possible. The CDC can provide more information regarding coronavirus and pregnancy (click here.) (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html)
When should I seek medical treatment?
The time to seek medical treatment is when concerning one or more emergency symptoms develop including shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new onset confusion, inability to arouse, and/or a bluish color of lips or face.
What is available for screening and risk assessment tools?
There is an online screening tool that is for the Harris County and Houston area residents called Check for Corona (https://checkforcorona.com/harris-county#/welcome).
There is also a risk assessment tool that is available online via Coronavirus Checker (https://c19check.com/start).
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
We advise calling your health care provider if you believe you are at risk (recent exposure to COVID-19 positive individual) or have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. It is important to remember that people WITHOUT symptoms can also carry the virus. As more testing strategies are developed, it will be easier to test the general population. We currently have several testing options available – call the office at 832-431-4336 for more information.
What is the best prevention?
Avoiding potential exposure to the virus is key, meaning SOCIAL DISTANCING IS KEY! This can be done by keeping a 6 foot distance from others and avoiding contact with others, especially those that are sick! Practice good hygiene especially when it comes to washing your hands; wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, mouth, etc as much as possible before cleaning your hands (and after.) Make sure to clean and disinfect high touch surface areas frequently (doorknobs, light switches, credit card terminals, cell phones, electronics, counter tops, toilets, etc.) It also helps to launder clothes in the warmest appropriate setting.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19. Research is underway to develop a vaccine as safely and timely as possible.
Current video updates for COVID-19:
Dr. Alana interview on FOX 26 Houston about the rise in COVID-19 cases in daycares across Texas. Mask up, stay safe. [July 1, 2020]
Dr. Alana was interviewed on FOX 26 Houston last week regarding the rise in COVID-19 cases in daycares across Texas. Mask up, stay safe.
Posted by purePEDIATRICS on Wednesday, 1 July 2020
COVID-19 Update #4 [April 13, 2020]
COVID-19 Update #3 [March 24, 2020]
COVID-19 Weekly Update #3 – Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay 6 Feet Away. This update includes the most recent CDC data from the Diamond Princess (useful information on the spread of the virus, the asymptomatic rate and how long it lasts on surfaces). We also cover the most recent Pediatric data – the good news is that most children fare well. Some children will have no symptoms and a very, very small percentage have suffered severe disease (primarily the very young, the immune compromised and those with chronic lung conditions).On a BRIGHT NOTE, Destiny has made a new catchy phrase: Sanitize and clean, let's kill COVID-19!
Posted by purePEDIATRICS on Tuesday, 24 March 2020
COVID-19 Update #2 [March 18,2020]
Weekly COVID-19 Update
Posted by purePEDIATRICS on Wednesday, 18 March 2020
COVID-19 Update #1 [March 11, 2020]
Posted by purePEDIATRICS on Wednesday, 11 March 2020
To receive the most up-to-date information on this novel coronavirus and how the disease process, transmission, symptoms and treatment are constantly evolving please visit the following sites that are helpful resources:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
- World Health Organization (WHO) https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1
- Texas Department of State Health Services https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/
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Last Updated: April 15, 2020
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Texas Department of State Health Services
The content provided on this page is for informational use only and should not be used as a substitution for medical treatment provided by your health care provider..