COVID-19: Information from an Infectious Disease Specialist

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay 

Highlights from an Interview with Dr. MarkAlain Dery

Background on COVID-19

Strains of the coronavirus have been around for a long time—in animals and in people.  10% of the viruses circulating in the common cold are coronaviruses.  A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified.  COVID-19 is novel because it is spreading amongst humans for the first time.  It will take time for our immune systems to become acclimated to it, about 5 to 10 years.

Who is at Risk?

For 80% of the population, COVID-19 will feel like a common cold.  Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  For more severe symptoms, please check out the website.   People who have weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to viral epidemics. 

Protection and Preparation

To help prevent infection, practice thorough hand washing.  Use soap and water, washing for 20 seconds.  Hand sanitizers should have 60% to 90% alcohol content.  Also, according to the interview, getting enough sleep is helpful to support the immune system.  Dr. Dery says that if you feel like you may have a virus and call into the doctor, the first thing they will ask you is what your temperature is.  Therefore, Dr. Dery recommends people have oral thermometers at home.  The common definition of a fever is anything above 100.4 degrees.

Dr. Dery recommends people stay home if they have symptoms that feel manageable.  This helps to prevent infecting others.

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Listen to Dr. MarkAlain Dery’s full interview through SoundCloud at the top of the page.