COVID-19 random notes
The investigational drugs chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, tocilizumab, lopinavir/ritonavir, and remdesivir can only be used under the supervision of a physician.
Guidelines are updated as results of studies are released. There is no drug that can be taken to prevent getting infected with the Covid-19 virus. There is no prophylactic drug. Antibiotics are given only when there is co-existing bacterial infection. The Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases formulates the guidelines on the clinical management of patients with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 infection.
There is a presymptomatic or asymptomatic spread of infection. Some infected persons spread the virus without feeling anything. In addition to sneezing and coughing, air particles can be generated when a person speaks. Incubation period ranges from two to 10 days and during these days the person may not have symptoms.
There is no evidence that dogs and cats can be infected with the virus but it is good hygienic practice to wash hands after handling pets and pet food.
Exposing yourself to the sun or to high temperatures does not prevent Covid-19 infection, neither can frequent hot baths, which may even scald you. Hand dryers and wet wipes cannot prevent infection. Ultraviolet lamps cannot be used to sterilize hands or the skin and can cause skin irritation.
Thermal scanners detect fever (normal body temperature is 36.5 to 37 degrees Celsius) but it cannot detect those who are infected but do not have fever yet.
We can recover from the viral disease but it does not confer lifetime immunity from the virus.
The best way to confirm if one has Covid-19 infection is to go for a laboratory test. Breathing exercises cannot confirm presence or absence of infection.
Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assay is the recommended test to confirm infection. The virus can be detected in nasal or pharyngeal samples, sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, feces, or blood. There is not enough evidence to use the FDA-approved test kits as stand-alone tests for definitive or confirmatory test for the diagnosis of Covid-19 infection and cannot be used for mass testing. Only authorized and properly trained laboratory personnel and physicians should perform the tests.
According to the Department of Health, as a general rule, cremation is the mode of disposal of dead bodies but burial without cremation may be allowed. The Department of the Interior and Local Government or the concerned local government unit and the Department of Social Welfare and Development will assist in funeral services and some companies do mobile cremation.
PhilHealth will shoulder the full cost of treatment for all Covid-19 cases until April 14, 2020. Guidelines will then be issued as case rates are developed by the national health insurance company. For all healthcare workers and personnel necessary for the operation of a health facility, full coverage will be provided by the company for all work and Covid-19 related health services beyond the April 14, 2020 cut-off date.
Government and private health care facilities continue to stock up on personal protective equipment. These are continuously used up as healthcare workers take care of persons under investigation and Covid-19 positive cases. Donations continue to pour in but stocks should be replenished or maintained. There are guidelines on the extension of use of disposable face masks and respirators, on the reuse of body covers and other equipment. The goal is to have ample supply of equipment. There are several innovative ways done to produce body covers even from trash bags, shower curtains, and similar materials not just in our place but worldwide.
Still the proven ways to help prevent spread of the virus is social distancing and hygienic practices.
One asymptomatic infected person can spread the virus, and this single act can cause another person to become critically ill, eventually intubated and hooked to a ventilator.
We do not have enough ventilators in our area/region, even countrywide. As is often said, staying at home can even save a nurse, a doctor, a health worker, a friend, and a relative.
The terminologies PUM, PUI, and Covid-positive may soon be replaced by the terms “suspect,”“probable,” and “confirmed.” We will wait for the guidelines.