Eight Things Parents Need to Know About Coronavirus COVID-19
This past week, the first two positive cases of Coronavirus-COVID-19 were reported in North Carolina. With that change, many parents are concerned about the safety of their families. Here’s what your trusted pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics wants you to know about Coronavirus COVID-19.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
While Coronaviruses are common causes of colds and respiratory tract infections, COVID-19 is a new virus that was first detected in China. It has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally. Coronaviruses are common in people and many species of animals. Based on current research, COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person through droplets released into the air when someone sneezes or coughs.
How Severe is COVID-19?
The CDC is still working to understand COVID-19. Illnesses have ranged from mild to severe. Research indicates that most COVID-19 cases are mild, and a report out of China suggests that 16% of cases are severe. There are significantly fewer cases of COVID-19 in children. The virus appears to have milder symptoms in children than it does in adults or older people. Currently, children have a more significant risk of getting the measles and flu, so ensure your child is immunized.
What is the Risk of my Family Getting COVID-19?
For most Americans, the current health risk is considered by the CDC to be low. People who live in communities where cases of COVID-19 have been reported are at elevated risk but are still considered by the CDC to have an overall relatively low risk of getting the virus.
What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a cold or the flu and include fever, cough, and runny nose. Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) have been reported in at least one child with COVID-19. In immunocompromised individuals or the elderly, symptoms can be more severe.
How are People Tested for COVID-19?
The CDC has developed a test for COVID-19 that tests both the lower and upper respiratory tract. The lower respiratory tract is tested through sputum and the upper respiratory tract is tested through a nose and throat swab. A person with flu-like symptoms will not necessarily be tested for COVID-19 unless they meet the criteria set by the CDC.
What Should I Do if My Child Gets Sick from Coronavirus COVID-19?
If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms, call your pediatrician. It is essential to keep your child home and limit exposure to other people. Seek emergency medical care if they have trouble breathing or if symptoms worsen.
What is the Treatment for COVID-19?
Currently, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19, nor are there any medications to treat it.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Family?
Teach kids to wash their hands using soap and water properly. Have them sing the Happy Birthday song twice while cleaning to ensure adequate cleaning. Always have them wash when returning from school, play, or any other activity outside of the home. The CDC also recommends that people cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. It is also essential to ensure everyone is up to date on their vaccinations.
It is our mission to help our families stay safe and healthy. If you have concerns about COVID-19, please contact our office.