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Coronavirus Update

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically cause mild colds. We see them year ’round, although like all cold/cough viruses, there’s more in the winter. There’s a new coronavirus that’s circulating, and the first cases are now appearing in Georgia. This is no surprise — we knew this was coming. People can become contagious with the new coronavirus, named “SARS-CoV-2”, before they have symptoms, and some people don’t develop any symptoms at all. So this virus was bound to keep spreading.

Children and teens seem to have mild if any symptoms from this new virus. There have been no pediatric deaths reported so far, anywhere.

The illness caused by this new virus is called “COVID-19”, causing fever, body aches, cough, and sometimes shortness of breath. Like other viruses, there is no treatment besides symptomatic care — Tylenol and Motrin, honey for coughs in kids older than 1 year, cool-mist humidifiers and suctioning for babies, extra fluids. Like other viruses, there is a greater danger for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

The spread of COVID-19 in other countries has been worsened by people flooding emergency departments and medical offices. Don’t do that. If you or your child has mild cold symptoms, please stay home! We do not need to see you in our office for these kinds of symptoms, and traveling outside of your home will make this outbreak worse for all of us. Follow common sense guidelines for returning to work or school — no fever for 24 hours, no disruptive coughing, and your child feels well enough to participate.

**We do NOT have a test for COVID-19 in our office. So unless symptoms are severe, we urge you to not come in and not call for an appointment.**

Your child SHOULD be seen for these sorts of symptoms:

  • any fever (>100.4F) in a baby under 60 days
  • respiratory distress, including a barking cough or increased work of breathing
  • dehydration
  • sore throat in the absence of cold symptoms
  • ear pain for more than 2 days in kids older than 2y, or in conjunction with fever in kids younger than 2y

If any of the family members coming to our office (children and adults) have BOTH COUGH AND FEVER, we ask that you not enter our office to check in. Instead, just call us from our parking lot when you arrive for your appointment. We’ll have you wait in your vehicle until we’re ready to get you into your own exam room. Please be sure to do your paperwork in advance by following the link in your reminder/confirmation email or text. We want to minimize everyone’s risk. Steps like this will help keep our patients, staff, and communities safe!

People who have other symptoms of any infection (fever, running nose, diarrhea, vomiting, cough, etc) should wait in the SICK WAITING ROOM. Alternatively, you can wait in your car if you prefer. PLEASE do not enter the well room if you have symptoms of an infection — that side is for well children.

The chances are that COVID-19 is already widespread. We did not start testing in this country until last week, and have only tested a small number of people so far. The media is causing more fear than is necessary. As testing kits become available, many more people will test positive.

  • Stay calm.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands.
  • Try not to touch your face, especially in public, and especially without washing or sanitizing your hands first.
  • Do NOT wear a mask unless you yourself are ill, or you yourself are in a room with someone who is ill.
  • Please stay home if you’re ill, and keep your children home if they’re ill.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands, again!
  • Send us a portal message or call us for any concerns.