COVID-19 Updates

By Dr. Mazen Najjar, Infectious Diseases

1- COVID SYMPTOMS: May appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Patient with COVID may have these symptoms: Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell in 25%, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea, Persistent pain or pressure in the chest, New confusion, Inability to wake or stay awake, Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds.

2- DIAGNOSIS: Definitive diagnosis of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, relies on the direct detection of virus-specific RNA or virus-specific glycoprotein antigens in respiratory tract specimens.

Serologic tests that detect the host antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 may also help to confirm the presence of current or past infection using blood samples using IGG antibodies.

The ID society suggests collecting a nasopharyngeal swab, mid-turbinate swab, anterior nasal swab, saliva or a combined anterior nasal/oropharyngeal swab rather than an oropharyngeal swab alone for SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing in symptomatic individuals

3- COVID TREATMENT: Symptomatic care only for outpatient individuals. IDSA guideline panel recommends dexamethasone (Strong recommendation) for patients with oxygen saturation less than 94% but suggests against the use of glucocorticoids if oxygen saturation above 94% and the same recommendation for anti-viral Remdesivir. Monocolonal antibodies has been proven to be effective also for outpatient use for patient at risk who has underlying health conditions. 4-PREVENTION: Hand washing, avoiding crowded places, physical distancing from sick, contacts with using gloves and vaccination are the most important steps to avoid acquisition of the infection. All vaccines are close in efficacy and are recommended even after recovery from infection because infection may form neutralizing or non-neutraizing antibodies. Protection by the vaccine is proven to last for a minimum of 6 months and side effects are still very rare compared to the number of doses administered.

Infectious Diseases

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