At Housecall MD, we have received many questions about coronavirus (COVID-19). There has been a lot of confliciting information, so we felt it would be helpful to clarify a few things about COVID-19.
- What is the coronavirus?
The corona virus is a virus like any other. It enters a cell and uses the inner working of a cell to reproduce, to then infect other cells. Coronavirus is actually a very common illness, and there are over 30 different types of coronavirus. Three of these coronavirus strains cause about 10-20% of the common cold. However, like any virus, they are known to mutate and change shape with time, which is why you won’t necessarily be immune to the coronavirus during the next season.
- What is COVID-19?
Novel coronavirus 2019, AKA nCoV-2019, AKA COVID-19 is a unique strand of coronavirus that seems to have originated in China. There is speculation (though it is important to point out that it is not yet fully confirmed) that it comes from a strand of coronavirus that is present in bats.
What makes the COVID-19 so dangerous is it’s viral tropism. Tropism is a term used to describe what type of cell the virus likes to infect. Most common coronavirus like to infect the mucosal lining of the upper respiratory tract (the nose, throat, and sinuses). However, COVID-19’s viral tropism seems to be selective of the cells of the lower respiratory tract (bronchioles, alveoli of the lungs). This is why this virus is especially concerning, because it seems to attack the lungs more so than most typical respiratory illnesses.
- Who should care about COVID-19?
While the majority of those who catch the coronavirus in Kitsap County, Washington will have relatively minor symptoms, those who have underlying medical conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, COPD, hypertension, etc.) have a disproportionately high risk of mortality. Here is a table comparing mortality rates by age of influenza vs COVID-19.
As you can see, the mortality risk is very significant from age 60 and above in comparison to influenza. These statistics will change with time, though for those of us in Kitsap County, Washington who have first row seats to what has happened in Seattle, Washington, we see what damage can b+e done to our senior citizens.
If you go back and read through our previous blogs, you will see how we discussed the risk of contracting an illness in a waiting room is 300%, meaning if you go to a clinic or hospital waiting room, you are 300% more likely to become ill (with a new infection) in the next 10-14 days than regular community exposure.
The risk for the elderly of the various communities served by Housecall MD in Kitsap County, Jefferson County, and Mason County is very high. Housecall MD hopes to eliminate this risk by allowing you to stay at home. Housecall MD can come to you and evaluate you in your own home. We can visit you via telemedicine if appropriate, or have one of our trained staff do a house call in your own home.
This way, we can eliminate the risk of you being exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Also, as you may have heard, COVID-19 tests are scarce. However, Housecall MD has developed a partnership and can screen you for COVID-19 infection; and if appropriate, we can test you for it.
If you reside in Silverdale, Bremerton, Poulsbo, Port Orchard, or Bainbridge Island Washington, call Housecall MD to schedule your appointment.