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COVID-19 UPDATE 12/30/2021
Due to the overwhelming number of calls and messages, we are posting the latest information on current seasonal illnesses and our advice. Please read through the entire message and contact our office if you have any further concerns, or need to make an appointment.
WHAT'S GOING AROUND RIGHT NOW
Covid19 and Influenza (flu) are at very high numbers. We are seeing minimal Strep illness, as well as some viral gastroenteritis (stomach bug) and some common colds caused by other viruses. A good majority of fever right now is being caused by Covid19 and Flu.
WHAT TO DO IF MY CHILD HAS A FEVER
ANYONE WITH A FEVER AND NO KNOWN EXPOSURE should be tested for Covid, (and other illnesses) so we can know who to quarantine and isolate, as well as who to report exposure and inform close contacts. You can do a RAPID HOME TEST if you can find them - they are in high demand right now and can be difficult to find. You can make an appointment with us at Arundel Pediatrics, or any Urgent Care - all of these appointments may be difficult to find and the wait at urgent care right now may be long, please be patient, as there is a high demand for these appointments as well.
ANYONE WITH A KNOWN EXPOSURE AND CLOSE CONTACT AND SYMPTOMS of Covid (fever, body aches, sore throat, runny nose, cough, loss of taste/smell) should assume they have Covid. There is no need for testing since this is likely Covid and the treatment is symptomatic relief as well as quarantine/isolation. We are happy to test anyone that would like an appointment but all health care offices - primary care and urgent care - right now are overloaded with the high demands for testing, as well as staff shortages due to illness. So appointments for testing are not necessary if you have a close exposure and have symptoms.
WHAT TO DO IF MY CHILD HAS A POSITIVE RAPID HOME TEST
If you or your child has a positive rapid home test, assume this is Covid - there is no need to do a PCR in addition to a positive rapid test. All of the PCR’s we have run with positive home tests have been positive, and we are facing a shortage of testing materials (both rapid and PCR) with the large volume. If there is a positive test at home, this is Covid and everyone should isolate for 10 days, treat symptoms supportively, and test close contacts as per CDC guidelines. WE WILL NOT BE MAKING APPOINTMENTS FOR ANYONE WITH A RAPID HOME TEST at this time.
WHAT TO DO IF THERE IS AN EXPOSURE
If you or your child has a known close exposure to Covid, you should watch for symptoms for 10-14 days and test with any symptoms or test at day 5-7 after exposure. If you are unable to get a rapid test or an appointment to do testing, and you have a close exposure and develop symptoms of Covid, you can also just assume that this is Covid and isolate for 10 days. If your child has been fully vaccinated and exposed, they do not need to isolate, but they should be tested at day 5-7 day after exposure and wear a mask around others.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID
These can range from sore throat and sniffles, what may look like a basic cold or even "allergies", to fevers, chills, body and muscle aches, loss of taste and smell, etc.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS FOR COVID
At this time, the majority of kids are very mild and we treat the symptoms supportively - fever reducer (see our chart on our website for tylenol and motrin doses by age/weight), fluids and monitoring hydration, Vitamin C (recommended dosing on our website under the news section Covid article), etc. If there are any concerns for dehydration or respiratory distress or worsening symptoms, please contact our office during business hours or go to the Emergency Room if there are severe symptoms or concerns.
CAN MY CHILD GET COVID IF HE/SHE HAS HAD VACCINE
Yes, but hopefully the illness will be mild. The risk of severe illness is much lower, but they can still be contagious so they should be tested, quarantined, and any close contacts should be notified.
CAN MY CHILD GET COVID IF HE/SHE HAS ALREADY HAD IT
Yes, so any symptoms should prompt the same testing and proper quarantine/isolation as above.
SHOULD I GO SEE FAMILY OR ATTEND FAMILY EVENTS
If you or your child has any symptoms or known exposures, the answer is NO. The only way to ensure you don't expose family or loved ones would be to stay home. Any symptoms or exposures make you/your child at risk for transmitting Covid.
SHOULD I COME IN FOR MY WELL VISIT
If you have any sick symptoms at all, have any known possible Covid exposures, the answer is NO. Please do a rapid home test, or make an appointment to get tested for Covid. We are NOT seeing any well visits that have ANY symptoms at all due to the high numbers of Covid and the risk of spreading Covid to other patients and staff.
PLEASE REFER TO THE CDC WEBSITE for all other questions.
WHEN TO CALL/MESSAGE MY PROVIDER
After reading the above and using the CDC website for any additional details - if you are concerned that your child's symptoms are worsening - please call the office or message your provider. PLEASE NOTE that the patient portal messages are only checked during business hours - any urgent messages should be a direct call to our office for more immediate advice. Please understand that we are operating with holiday staff at this time, and our providers are very busy dealing with the large volume of sick visits and messages, so please be patient with us during this busy time.