As the number of Coronavirus cases continues to increase, we talked with Robert Gross, M.D., who practices family medicine at Family Medicine Center and CareXpress in Canyon. Dr. Gross is one of the few physicians in our area who is Board Certified in Public Health by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.
What are the three most important things Dr. Gross believes we should all know about the Coronavirus?
1 - Maintain good health and hygiene. Much like we all heard growing up, it’s important to wash your hands. We’re not just talking about running them under the water for a few seconds. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers these five steps to ensure you’re getting your hands nice and clean.
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
Another part of good hygiene is keeping your hands away from your mouth. The CDC said the Coronavirus is spread between people who are in close contact with one another (about six feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDC also cautions that it may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Ensuring that you’re getting enough rest and staying hydrated are also both critical to your overall health. While sleep requirements vary from person to person, you should try to get an average of 7 to 9 hours per night and drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
2 - If you start to get sick, don’t panic! Numerous viruses and colds are going around this time of year. And, even though we saw a flu outbreak towards the end of 2019, there has been a second wave of the flu making its way around the area as well. And no, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. You can stop by any of our five locations and grab one today. Most medical insurances cover the full cost of the shot. Springtime allergies will also begin to pick up soon, as well. In fact, AccuWeather is predicting the 2020 spring allergy season will be brutal. We offer allergy tests and treatment at our FMC location in Canyon, at our 34th and Coulter location, and our BSA CareXpress location on Georgia.
3 - Last but not least, remember that this will pass. Heath officials and pharmaceutical companies across the world are currently working on the development of a vaccine and treatment options for those who contract the virus. Dr. Gross urges people to be aware, not afraid. And remember, if you’re sick, please stay home and consult your physician as needed.
All Family Medicine Center locations and BSA CareXpress Urgent Care locations have been working on internal plans that will allow us to continue to treat our patients while doing everything we can at the clinic level to prevent this, along with other viruses, from spreading.