Two days ago, March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Prior pandemics have been due to influenza, but there has never been a pandemic by a new coronavirus. There is little or no immunity in Sarasota to this disease which spreads easily from person to person. Testing has been limited so we likely only know the tip of the iceberg as far as how many people are carrying this virus. There are likely hundreds of thousands of Floridians carrying the virus. Many have mild or no symptoms. However, the elderly and those with chronic health conditions are far more likely to develop severe symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, lung damage) and even death.
Both Dr. Caballero and Dr. Santana, want every single one of our patients to take steps to protect themselves and avoid contact with this virus. We believe now is the time to avoid gatherings whenever possible. Cancel optional activities, not only of large, but even small gatherings. We realize this may not always be possible but recommend it as an effort to avoid unnecessary contacts.
Many may not even be aware of having the virus, since the symptoms may not show even if the person is contagious. Shopping for your food is necessary, but shopping for non-essential items at stores should be avoided. Other public gatherings, such as movie theaters, shows, are also of concern and may put you at risk for exposure. Absolutely avoid getting on a cruise, not only is there risk of exposure, but the additional risk of confinement to the ship.
Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
For your protection, we are happy to provide a phone call for routine visits instead of an office visit.
As always, call us for symptoms and we will be happy to guide you.
The Centers for Disease Control has excellent guidelines www.cdc.gov