By: Dr. Lisa Di Enno, MD, FAAP
This is a question my pediatrician friends and I have heard with increasing frequency over the last week or so. It’s completely understandable. The news has been full of updates regarding the spread of this novel virus, including a recent World Health Organization (WHO) statement declaring the coronavirus outbreak an international health emergency. It’s even scarier when you consider the reported symptoms of novel coronavirus (aka 2019-nCoV) include fever, headache, and cough— things we see in clinic every day!
Fortunately for parents, 2019-nCoV is affecting a very specific population. If a child hasn’t been to China in the last two weeks and hasn’t been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for 2019-nCoV, the chances s/he has the virus are exceedingly slim. A child displaying the above symptoms is exponentially more likely to be infected with a run-of-the-mill virus or possibly the flu.
What’s a worried momma to do, though? The virus is reportedly spreading, and the world suddenly seems to be filled with coughing, sneezing, sick-looking people! At this time, our only recommendations include some very familiar advice: wash hands frequently (either with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer, aka “hanitizer” according to a very cute 4-year-old I once saw), cover your cough/sneeze, stay home if you’re sick, and avoid crowds of people if at all possible.
Still concerned your little might have contracted novel coronavirus, but also not interested in dragging everyone out to the doctor’s office only to be told things you already know? That’s where XpertCare comes in! You can schedule a virtual visit with a Board-Certified Pediatrician from the comfort of your own living room. We’ll listen to your concerns and answer your questions.
Dr. Lisa Di Enno is the Medical Director of XpertCare Pediatric Digital Clinic. You can contact her at 410.929.5741 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.