DermSpecialists has been actively preparing its facilities, physicians, and employees to identify possible patients with the COVID -19 (Coronavirus) virus and to prevent transmission to themselves, other patients, and visitors.
Your safety and the safety of our physicians and staff remain our highest priority.
If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath, have traveled internationally, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, we MUST reschedule your appointment to a future date.
Please call (855) 535-7175 and our staff will reschedule your appointment to a future date.
COVID – 19 Overview
COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, and now with the virus that causes COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir. However, the exact source of this virus is unknown.
More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure and can include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Chills or shaking
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Muscle aches and pains
- Sore throat
The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from very mild to severe. People who are older or have existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, may be at higher risk of serious illness. This is similar to what is seen with other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza.
When to see a doctor
Contact your doctor right away if you have COVID-19 symptoms and you’ve possibly been exposed to the virus. Tell your doctor if you’ve recently traveled internationally or domestically. Call your doctor ahead to tell him or her about your symptoms and recent travels and possible exposure before you go to your appointment.
It’s unclear exactly how contagious the new coronavirus is. It appears to be spreading from person to person among those in close contact. It may be spread by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes.
The risk posed by COVID-19 depends on characteristics of the virus, including how easily it spreads between people; the severity of resulting illness; and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccines or medications that can treat the illness) and the relative success of these. Because there are not yet vaccines or treatments for COVID-19, nonpharmaceutical interventions become the most important response strategy. These are community interventions that can help reduce the impact of disease, like social distancing and good hand hygiene.
When considering the risk that COVID-19 poses to Americans, it’s helpful to break down this risk into two types: risk of exposure and risk of serious illness and death.
Risk of exposure
Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in all states.
People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with the level of their risk depending on their location.
Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with their level of risk depending on where they traveled.
Risk of severe illness
Based on what we know now, persons at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:
- People 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People of all ages with serious underlying medical conditions
- CDC has developed guidance to help individuals and healthcare providers assess the risk and manage illness among people with potential community-related exposures to COVID-19.
Practice everyday prevention
As you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. You can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. WHO and CDC recommend following the standard precautions for avoiding respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you’re sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
- Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick.
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC recommends you practice social distancing to reduce the spread of the virus. Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
- Do not gather in groups
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
If you’re planning to travel internationally, first check the CDC and WHO websites for updates and advice. Also look for any health advisories that may be in place where you plan to travel. You may also want to talk with your doctor if you have health conditions that make you more susceptible to respiratory infections and complications.