Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Published on March 12, 2020Author: Mik Griffin

Dear Patients,

We always recommend for those of you on immunomodulatory therapy to be vigilant about practicing universal precautions to prevent getting ill (see below). The flu is a concern each year, which is why we recommend and encourage you to get the flu shot and now, we have a new viral illness in addition to the flu that we all are at risk for contracting.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans.

The virus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, pneumonia.

HOW IT SPREADS:

The new coronavirus like the flu spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

In general, you can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face.

We also have the following recommendations in addition:

  1. Air Travel or public spaces – If it is not a necessity to go postpone to avoid any risks until the virus spread is better under control.
  2. We encourage universal precautions, which one should practice always to avoid the flu, cold, or other illnesses in addition to the Coronavirus.
    1. 20-30 second handwashing, use hand sanitizer if no soap after touching surfaces and always before eating
    2. disinfect surfaces you will need to touch including your work space
    3. avoid touching door knobs, elevator buttons etc with hands. Use instead for example a wipe, paper towel, shirt sleeve, glove, or on elevator button your knuckle instead of finger tip
    4. do not eat food with hands
    5. avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose with hands
  3. The CDC provides great guidelines on their website. Please visit www.cdc.gov

Of note, If you develop any illness, infection, or fever; please notify your doctor immediately and hold your immunomodulatory therapy. Specifically, if you have a fever of 101° Fahrenheit (38.3° Celsius), with or without chills, call your doctor immediately. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to an emergency room.

In general, when you are healthy your risk for contracting an illness lessens so we recommend 8 hours of sleep, good hydration (8-10 glasses of noncaffeinated fluid a day), a multivitamin daily, and exercise if possible 3 times a week. We also recommend smoking cessation if applicable to you.

Lastly, we ask if you are sick or have returned or been exposed to someone from a high-risk area to please reschedule your appointments.

MERSI Provider and Nursing Staff

  • Educational Audio

    Click here to listen to
     Uveitis and Steroid-Sparing Therapy

    Presented by C. Stephen Foster, MD, FACS, FACR

    Audio-Digest Ophthalmology Volume 56, Issue 15

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