Officials from the Northeast Georgia Health System recently hosted a virtual conference with Chamber members on COVID-19. Administrators and medical professionals including Dr. Supriya Mannepalli (infectious disease specialist) and Dr. Clifton Hastings (cardiovascular & thoracic surgeon) answered questions. Below are Q&A’s from the event and a link to the entire discussion.
Symptom & Treatment Questions
Q: I have heard nausea and backache could be additional symptoms. Is this accurate?
A: The most common COVID-19 symptoms are fever, cough and difficulty breathing, but gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have been observed in some patients. Muscle aches, myalgia, fatigue and loss of appetite are also very common, and a backache could be caused by the myalgia.
Q: Is it true that ibuprofen is not good to take if you think you have the virus?
A: Yes, that is true. Patients should not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen because there are concerns that it could help the virus. Tylenol should be used instead.
Q: Would a nebulizer be helpful for someone dealing with a mild case of COVID-19?
A: We do not recommend using nebulizers because it can help the virus travel through the air. Patients can use a metered dose inhaler if they have one.
Testing & Quarantine Questions
Q: When do you foresee testing being available in our area so that everyone – whether running a fever and coughing or asymptomatic – can rule out COVID-19 or determine whether they already have antibodies?
A: Unfortunately, we do not currently have an adequate supply of testing materials for community-wide testing. Tests are being prioritized for the most emergent patients. We don’t know when supplies will be available in large enough quantities to allow community-wide testing.
Q: How long does it take to receive results once you are tested, and why does it take so long?
A: There are many different labs processing COVID-19 tests, and turnaround times vary between labs. Some of those facilities have a backlog of tests, but we have recently been working with a lab in Georgia that is able to provide results by the next day.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Donate: Donations of essential healthcare supplies, are being coordinated by the NGMC Foundation. For details, link HERE.
2. Give Blood: NGHS is looking into additional locations to host blood drives away from hospital campuses or give through the Red Cross or LifeSouth.
3. Stay Home: The most important thing the community can do to help is to stay home.