Dr. Dru Hauter: sage analysis and advice about  the Corona Virus
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[September 23, 2020]  Here is my take on the Corona Virus (Covid-19).

Covid-19 is a Corona virus. This is one of the viruses that cause the common cold. Every single one of us has had a Corona Virus. Usually when you get the cold you fight it off and then don’t get it again because you developed antibodies to that strain. The next strain may not affect you at all or may be milder because of the antibodies you developed with the last infection. This Covid-19 is called novel or new because this Covid-19(Corona Virus) has mutated enough that the body does not recognize it as a Corona virus. This means that everyone is susceptible because nobody has developed antibodies to this new virus.

People that are in a weakened state or have medical problems that decrease the ability to fight this virus off will be the most sick. We do not have enough data to say what the death rate will be. It is estimated to be about 3% death rate. This may be high because the testing in the US has been very limited. The more likely death rate will be under 1%. This is still a little higher death rate than Influenza. The influenza death rate is dramatically lowered by the flu shot. There is evidence that the death rate for Covid-19 is also lowered by the flu shot. It does not appear that Tamiflu or meds for Influenza help with Covid-19.

Unfortunately we are just starting this illness in the US. In the next few weeks many people will have upper respiratory symptoms. Most of these will be from the common cold. Some will be influenza, others allergies and a few may be corona virus.

As your doctor, what I can do is help you determine if this is the cold, flu, allergies or corona virus. Testing is currently not widely available.  If I am concerned you may have Covid-19 I may send you to a testing site for testing. (Sites to be determined later) Do not head to ER for testing right now. The virus is thought to be spread by respiratory droplets from an infected person coughing, talking, sneezing or leaving a droplet on a counter, phone or any item. The virus can live and be active for about 3 days in a droplet.

Data from China’s outbreak tell us the medial age of people infected is 59. An infected person infects an average of 2.2 other people. 80% of people infected can have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. Symptoms are initially mild but can progress to cough, fever shortness of breath and pneumonia requiring hospitalization. The people needing hospitalization had the symptoms for an average of 9.5-10.2 days before hospitalization. The respiratory symptoms were the main reason people were hospitalized.

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What to do if you get symptoms: Call me (your doctor) and we will review your symptoms to determine if it is the common cold, allergies, influenza or Covid-19. If we think you are likely to have Covid-19 you should self quarantine. Testing will be late and may not be available so response to infection is more important than testing. If respiratory symptoms worsen then that is the time for hospitalization.

It is estimated that 70% of all of the US will eventually be infected by Covid-19. By avoiding contact, cancelling NCAA, MLB, NHL, NBA, college glasses and other gatherings, the hope is to delay the infection until we know more and may have a treatment. Also, if these gatherings were not cancelled and went on as planned then the number infected could soar too rapidly and limit the health care resources such as, ICU beds, Negative flow rooms, and ventilators.

What you can do is continue to do the things to prevent any respiratory illness.
• Exercise regularly
• Eat nutritious balanced meals
• Get 7-9 hours sleep
• Wash your hands frequently, before meals, after contact
• Don’t touch eyes, mouth, nose, etc.
• Avoid public gatherings of 100 people or more.
• The ear loop surgical masks are not helpful to prevent and may actually increase risk of getting any respiratory infection. (Wear a mask to decrease droplets if you are positive)
• Disinfect counter tops and utensils daily
• Do activities that lower stress, meditate, read, turn off TV, exercise, and pray.
• Do not drink alcohol to excess (Decreases white blood cells ability to fight infection)
• Control your blood pressure and sugar levels (Sugar over 250 slows white cell response to fight infection)

[Dr. Dru Hauter, Central Illinois Direct Care]

Dr. Dru Hauter has recently started this new practice in Lincoln after 35 years of practice and 2 years of retirement.  It is called Central Illinois Direct Care (CIDC), and it is a different, more effective, more direct relationship with your doctor.  For more information about Dr. Hauter and CIDC, check out his website at www.cidirectcare.com.

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