March 31, 2020
Hermann Area District Hospital
The US now has the world’s highest number of Coronavirus cases. New York City is the world’s epicenter with other cities fast becoming hotspots.
Testing for coronavirus or COVID 19 has also added to the larger numbers now reported. Last week Hermann Area District Hospital opened its off-campus testing site at the old Hermann Medical Arts Building. As of Monday, March 30th, over 40 tests. The Gasconade County Health Department has fortunately reported that our county has 0 positive so far. Our turnaround time for test results is around 36-48 hours, so there is a lag time between testing and results.
People around Hermann at work and in the community asked me several questions. Here are some of them:
Q: If you have patients that are extremely sick from the coronavirus and there are no vents available anywhere else will I be able to be helped at the Hermann Area District Hospital?
A: Normally we do not have an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but
in case of non availability of ICU beds at an outside hospital we are preparing a section of the Hermann Hospital for ventilation management (to an extent). If we begin treating COVID patients that section of the building will be sealed off to limit the chance of infection to staff and patients.
Q: Will regular patients and any COVID patients be cared for in the same area?
A: We are planning to set up our COVID care beds in an entirely separate area with appropriate precautions.
Q: What if I took (or am taking) Ibuprofen? Will I be more susceptible to or get sicker if I contract COVID?
A: Anecdotal reports of some younger patients that got more severe disease had received nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Due to this some clinicians have avoided ibuprofen and used acetaminophen (Tylenol). There are no larger or population-based reports proving this. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not recommended against NSAID use. ( Source: UpToDate website).
Q: We’ve talked about hand washing. What do I use to clean or disinfect my house or work area?
A: Wear disposable gloves to clean. Have good ventilation. You may use:
To clean: Soap and water
To disinfect: 70% (or higher strength) alcohol
For this reason Vodka will NOT work (someone specifically asked this) as it contains 40% alcohol
Diluted Bleach solution (4 tbsp to 1 qt water)
DO NOT mix ammonia with bleach
You may use another EPA registered product, such as Lysol or Clorox wipes, etc., (be sure to follow product usage guidelines).
Clean frequently touched surfaces such as light and stove and remote control switches, door knobs, faucets, desks, tables, hard chairs, toilets, sinks, anything people touch. Clean anything you bring into the house from outside- phone, keys etc.
Q: I heard that COVID 19 initially came from animals. What should I do if I have a pet? Can I give them COVID 19 infection or vice versa?
A: So far there is no evidence that COVID 19 has been transmitted to humans by household pets, service animals, livestock or wildlife in the US.
Also there have not been any reports of pets contracting COVID 19.
However it is recommended to practice good pet hygiene around your pets including plenty of hand washing, safe waste cleaning and disposal along with regular veterinary care.
Stay safe and take these social distancing and cleaning measures seriously. People across the nation are losing their lives and those of their beloved parents, spouses and children. Adding to the tragedy is that no visitors are allowed with COVID patients, who suffer and die without their family to comfort them.
Jaya Parker, M.D.
Hermann Area District Hospital