With the everchanging news in regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it can be overwhelming to distinguish what information is most pertinent. The two most important aspects to know are how to protect yourself and what to do if you get ill. 

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Avoiding being exposed to the Coronavirus is the best way to prevent illness. This is done by avoiding close contact with others as the main way the virus is spread is through respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneezes or talks. The most vital thing you can do is follow the state mandated stay-at-home orders. Also, make sure you are washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Do this especially after touching high contact surfaces specifically in public places. Avoid touching your face. Cover coughs and sneezes into a tissue or inside of your elbow. If you have to go out in public for necessities stay 6 feet away from others. And it is now recommended for you to wear a cloth face cover in public as long as you don’t have difficulty breathing. Remember the virus can be transmitted by those who do not show any symptoms yet. 

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you develop any of these symptoms it is important to call first prior to coming to the office so we can assess your symptoms and determine the best course of action. Many people will have mild symptoms and can recover at home. It will be important to distance yourself from the other people and pets in your home by preferably staying in your own room and using your own bathroom. Do not share household items.Continue to practice good hand washing and cover your face with a cloth cover if need to be in a common area. Monitor your symptoms and present to an emergency room if you have difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, new onset confusion or blue color in your face. You will need to consult with your healthcare provider before being cleared to discontinue isolation.

In regards to pregnancy, there is not enough research thus far to know how, if at all, the virus effects the pregnancy or fetus or if it can be transmitted during delivery. We do know that other respiratory viruses such as influenza can cause serious illness in pregnant women so we advise if you are pregnant to make sure you’re following all of the above recommendations. Since there is so much unknown with COVID-19 and pregnancy it would even be advisable to have another member of the household be the one to go out in public for essentials to further limit potential exposure. In the limited studies done on breastfeeding COVID-19 positive mothers there has been no evidence of transmission of the virus through breastmilk, however at this time we cannot say confidently it could not happen. 

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