Corona virus originated in China three months ago and the viral infection has engulfed the whole world along with our state of North Carolina and of course, Wake County. We have no known treatment or vaccines available at this time. The infection is transmitted by respiratory droplet mode and from contaminated surfaces transmitted by hand to mucous membranes of mouth, nose and eyes. It takes about 4-14 days (median 5 days) after exposure to develop symptoms in majority of people. Most common symptoms are fever, dry hacking cough and shortness of breath sometimes. You are at higher risk for severe disease or complications if you are immune compromised, suffer from Diabetes, Heart or chronic Lung disease and pregnant women. We can help our community and our families to prevent spread of infection by taking some common sense measures as recommended by CDC:
1. Social Distancing: Avoiding hugs and kisses while greeting, keeping a distance of 3-6 feet
2. Sanitary Habits: a) Washing hands with soap and water and scrubbingfrom both sides for at least 20-24 seconds. Dry hands after washing. You may use alcohol based sanitizers in between hand washing.
b) Disinfecting commonly used surfaces with Bleach or other disinfecting Sprays or wipes frequently
c) Stop touching your face, nose, mouth and eyes with your hands until you have sanitized your hands
d) Cover your cough with your sleeve to protect others.
3. Stay home if you feel you are sick.
For our patients
We are part of the UNC Physician Network. If you develop high fever more than 100.4°, cough and symptoms of shortness of breath, especially after exposure to confirmed Corona positive patient, or international travel during the past 2 weeks, please, do not come to our office, but call UNC hotline at 1-888-850-2684 to talk to an adviser for corona Virus testing and guidance as it requires significant precautionary measures to protect others.
Walk in patients are not accepted during this pandemic. Please call to schedule an appointment before you come in.
American Medical Association (AMA) issued a statement of 7 health recommendations for better health before the beginning of this year. I strongly believe that everybody should follow these simple recommendations and posting it for the benefit of my patients.
The AMA’s seven recommendations for a healthier new year, include the following:
1. Limit your consumption of beverages with added sugar
2. Know your risk for type 2 diabetes—take the self-screening test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org
3. Be more physically active—every healthy adult 18 to 65 years of age needs at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity five days per week, or 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity three days a week
4. Reduce your intake of processed food and added sodium
5. If consuming alcohol, do so in moderation as defined by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, and only by adults of legal drinking age
6. Talk with your doctor about tobacco use and quit
7. Declare your home and car smoke free to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke
Influenza season is here in full force. CDC has indicated high prevalence of influenza activity in the state of North Carolina. It is difficult to differentiate between Flu and Common Cold however Flu is more severe illness. Cold may present as symptoms of runny stuffy nose, sneezing scratchy throat and general malaise but Flu is associated high fevers, general body aches, dry cough, severe fatigue or tiredness and all the symptoms associated with Cold.
You can prevent Flu by taking Flu Vaccine, it is never too late to take the Flu vaccine but remember it takes at least 2 weeks for the Flu vaccine to be effective. Avoid being close to a known Flu patient. Avoid touching your nose or eyes before washing your hands with soap and water or sanitize with alcohol based sanitizers if you touch soiled surfaces. If your close contact is diagnosed with Influenza, your doctor can prescribe you anti-viral Influenza medication to prevent flu.
If you think you have Flu it is good idea to stay home to prevent spread to your co-workers or your community in general and contact your doctor for treatment. Flu is very contagious, cover your cough and sneezing and if your hands are soiled with your nasal secretions, cough or sneeze, either wash your hands with soap and water or sanitize with alcohol based sanitizers to prevent spread of flu.
Influenza is serious illness and Pneumonia is serious complication of Influenza. Seek help if you have shortness of breath, chest pains or persistent fevers.Influenza vaccine is the key to prevent Flu at home, work and in community.
Balwinder Sidhu, M.D.
This is the time of the year when lot of us make resolutions for the new year. The resolutions to promote health and well-being. I will mention couple of habits that impact the health tremendously and worth considering for the new year resolutions. First is exercise and second is tobacco use.
Exercise has significant benefit in reducing cardiovascular risks of heart attacks and strokes. Exercise not only helps to prevent diabetes and weight gain but is good for your mental health too. It helps older adults to prevent falls and maintain cognitive function All adults 18-64 years are recommended by scientific evidence to do 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise 5 days a week. Health benefits of physical activity far outweigh any risks, however, if you have chronic health problems you should discuss with your physician before starting any exercise program.
If you do not smoke make resolution to never start and if you do smoke then make the resolution to stop smoking in 2013. Breathing problems with Emphysema and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) are the most obvious diseases related to smoking known to the general public. Tobacco use is also associated with premature death by increasing your risk for cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke and Peripheral arterial disease on one hand and increasing your chances of various cancers of mouth, throat, lung, esophagus and bladder on the other hand.
It will be great way to start new year by adopting a good habit of exercising and discarding a bad habit of smoking, thus taking 2 giant steps towards a longer healthier life. Season’s greetings and happy healthier 2013.