First Choice Neurology

Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

Because the Coronavirus COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving, we will be updating this page regularly.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptoms

The incubation period for COVID-19 is thought to be within 14 days following exposure, with most cases occurring approximately four to five days after exposure. The spectrum of symptomatic infection ranges from mild to critical; most infections are not severe. Call your doctor’s office prior to reporting in person for an evaluation.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea

Doctors have observed neurological symptoms, including confusion, stroke, and seizures, in a small subset of COVID-19 patients. These neurological syndromes join other unusual symptoms, such as a diminished sense of smell and taste as well as heart ailments.

50% of Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients are now presenting GI symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting

25% of people infected with COVID-19 may not show symptoms. Asymptomatic people can still transmit the illness to others. Presymptomatic coronavirus patients can spread the disease 1-3 days before showing signs. 

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you develop emergency warning signs for Coronavirus (COVID-19) get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your doctor for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. 

Those with mild cases of COVID-19 appear to recover within one to two weeks. For severe cases, recovery may take six weeks or more. About 1% of infected people worldwide will succumb to the disease.

As of May 30, 2020, among COVID-19 cases, the most common underlying health conditions were cardiovascular disease (32%), diabetes (30%), and chronic lung disease (18%). Hospitalizations were six times higher and deaths 12 times higher among those with reported underlying conditions compared with those with none reported.

June 26, 2020: Updated information about which underlying health conditions put people at higher risk.

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, such as emphysema
  • Obesity (body mass index of more than 30)
  • Immunosuppressing Conditions
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • History of organ transplants
  • Type 2 Diabetes

The CDC also clarified a list of conditions that might increase the risk of severe illness.  Some of these conditions include:

  • Chronic Lung Diseases (moderate to severe asthma and cystic fibrosis)
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Weakened Immune System (blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, or immune weakening medicines)
  • Neurologic Conditions (dementia or history of stroke)
  • Liver Disease
  • Pregnancy

How is COVID-19 Diagnosed?

Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.

Viral Tests
A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.

Your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms, as well as recent travel and contact with sick people. If your doctor thinks you may have COVID-19, he or she will work with your local health department on testing. Follow all instructions from your healthcare provider. COVID-19 is diagnosed by a viral test:

  • A cotton-tipped swab is wiped inside your nose or throat. A nose and throat swab is used to check for viruses in your nasal mucus.
  • A small sample of mucus coughed from your lungs (sputum) is collected if you have a cough. A sputum culture is performed to check for the virus.

If you test positive for COVID-19 by a viral test, know what protective steps to take if you are sick.

If you test negative for COVID-19 by a viral test, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing.

Antibody Tests
An antibody test tells you if you had a previous infection.

An antibody test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks after infection to make antibodies. We do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last.

 

How is COVID-19 Treated?

There is currently no medication to treat COVID-19. Supportive care treatment is done to help your body while it fights the coronavirus. Supportive care may include:

  • Rest. This helps your body fight the illness.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of liquids each day. This includes water, sports drinks, soft drinks without caffeine, juices, tea, and soup.
  • Take pain medicine (acetaminophen and ibuprofen). They help ease pain and reduce fever. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

For severe illness, you may need to be hospitalized. Your care during severe illness may include:

  • IV (intravenous) fluids. These are given through a vein to help keep your body hydrated.
  • Oxygen. Supplemental oxygen or ventilation with a breathing machine (ventilator) may be given so you get enough oxygen in your body.

 

Complications from COVID-19

In many cases, this virus can cause an infection (pneumonia) in both lungs. In some cases, it can cause death. Certain people are at higher risk for complications. This includes older adults and people with serious chronic health conditions such as heart or lung disease or diabetes.

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

Since COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus, information about it is changing constantly.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

The virus spreads easily between people
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza. In general, the more closely a person interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can 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. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.

Based on what we currently know, the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people. Stay at least 6 feet away.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue, elbow or sleeve, and be sure to discard used tissues into the trash.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Stay home from school, work, or public gatherings when you are sick.

About Contact Tracing

  • Trace and monitor contacts of infected people. Notify them of their exposure.
  • Support the quarantine of contacts. Help ensure the safe, sustainable, and effective quarantine of contacts to prevent additional transmission.
  • Expand staffing resources. Contact tracing in the US will require that states, tribes, localities, and territorial establish large cadres of contact tracers.
  • Use digital tools. Adoption and evaluation of digital tools may expand the reach and efficacy of contact tracers.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening
Episode 1 - Re-engaging Older Loved Ones

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about the components of infectivity (Ro). He explains how we start to re-engage with our older family members.

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening
Episode 2 - Re-engaging with Children

Dr. Marytery Fajardo talks about re-engaging with our children after COVID-19.

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening
Episode 3 - The Race for the Vaccine

Jeffrey Gelblum, MD discusses the history of the vaccination and 5 different types of vaccines being developed for COVID19.

COVID-19: Roadmap to Reopening
Episode 4 - Low-Risk Summer Fun

Jeffrey Gelblum, MD talks about “fun” and “low-risk” things to do this summer during the #coronavirus pandemic.

Recorded Coronavirus COVID-19 Videos (English)

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about anxiety and pain (acute and chronic) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brad Herskowitz, MD talks about stroke and COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about caregiver burnout during COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about our loved ones in long term care facilities during COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about managing headaches during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about COVID-19 and antibody testing.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about sleeping during COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about COVID-19 and the Nervous System. Myths and falsehoods of the Coronavirus.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about HIPAA Compliance and how to keep your health and personal information safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg talks about how to manage your pain at home during COVID-19.

Dr. Brian Costell talks about neurology telemedicine and telehealth in the USA.

Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum talks about how to cope as a caregiver during Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coping with Insomnia and Anxiety during COVID-19 presented by Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg

Epilepsy and COVID-19 presented by Dr. Andrew Lerman

Migraine and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Video Slide Show Presentation presented by Dr. Jennifer Buczyner

Migraines and COVID-19 presented by Dr. Jennifer Buczyner

Dr. Andrew Lerman talks about TeleHealth and Coronavirus (COVID-19) with neurological conditions.

Taking Care of Your Neurological Disorder during Coronavirus (COVID-19) presented by Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum

Videos grabados de Coronavirus COVID-19 (español)

Dr. Sergio Jaramillo - Cómo mantener la calma si tiene insomnio durante el brote de COVID-19 (español)

La Dra. Adriana Arenas hablará sobre el papel del médico fisiatra en la comunidad. (español)

Keith Mortman, MD talks about a virtual reality rendering created to see inside a COVID-19 patient's lungs at the George Washington University Hospital. The patient is in his late 50s and the only underlying medical condition he has is high blood pressure. He was intubated and connected to a mechanical ventilator. There is rapid progression, and damage to the lungs. Young people are now becoming infected with COVID-19. Some are asymptomatic carriers and may not shows signs or symptoms of the disease. They can pass the virus on to other people they come in contact with.

Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT) for Respiratory Health

Presymptomatic coronavirus patients can spread the disease 1-3 days before showing signs

A new Centers for Disease Control report suggests that nearly 40% of Americans hospitalized (at the time of the report) were between the ages of 20 and 50. Numbers are changing fast as the COVID-19 outbreak spreads across the country, but the report’s findings are clear: Younger people must take this outbreak seriously, even if they feel healthy and immune to its effects.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has suggested that people who wear contact lenses should switch over to glasses during the coronavirus outbreak.

Routine eye care procedures may be delayed during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but treatment for eye emergencies is as important as ever. Don't delay calling your ophthalmologist or another medical doctor if you have an urgent eye issue. Here's how to tell.
Download a printable version of this article in English (PDF).
Descargue la versión en español (PDF).

A Message from our Doctors about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A message from Dr. Andrew Lerman regarding COVID-19

A message from Dr. Sergio Jaramillo regarding COVID-19

Infusion, Physical Therapy, and Teletherapy during COVID-19

Grocery Shopping Tips during COVID-19

How to Disinfect your Car

How to Clean Your iPhone during COVID-19

How to Make Your Own Face Mask

face mask image

The CDC recommends wearing a mask or cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc). Face coverings should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use. A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

Click here for Instructions to Make a Mask (Face Covering)

TeleHealth and TeleVisit

Telehealth or televisit is a service provided by practitioners at First Choice Neurology. We offer a free, secure, and easy-to-use app Healow, for our patients to communicate with their doctor remotely (from your home) and manage your health care.

A televisit is the same as an office visit, except you are seeing your doctor virtually. Telehealth visits are covered by your insurance carrier as a routine visit with your doctor.

The physicians of First Choice Neurology have pioneered the use of Telehealth to enable patients anywhere in the world to access their neurology doctor without ever setting foot in a physical office. This is a great tool for patients who are traveling out of town, busy at work, feeling sick, lacking transportation, or just wishing to stay at home.

The cutting-edge platform permits the doctor to conduct a face-to-face virtual office visit on a remote basis from his desktop to your online device. It is simple to schedule.

Additional Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

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