General Information on Coronavirus and Covid-19
Mesquite Pediatrics is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation caused by the novel Coronavirus that emerged from China earlier this year. The purpose of this page is to give some basic information on the virus and to provide links to reliable information from various resources. This page is not meant to provide comprehensive, up-to-date information as there is no way for us to keep up with those changes here and also care for our patients. The links provided below are the best bet for keeping informed of day-to-day changes.
First, some basic information, starting with some definitions of the terms you may have heard.
- Coronavirus: this is a family of viruses that usually cause respiratory infections. It includes many strains, one of which is the Coronavirus everyone is talking about
- 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2: these are actual official names for the new strain of Coronavirus
- Covid-19: this is the name for the disease that the Coronavirus causes when someone is infected
Most often Coronaviruses cause what most people would consider the common cold. We know that we see infections with Coronavirus very frequently at Mesquite Pediatrics because they are very common, though we typically don't test for the virus because the disease is usually mild and kids tend to resolve their infections without any special treatment. This new Coronavirus is a bit different, as it has more potential to cause severe disease. At the date this page was last updated (6/28/2020), it is not known why that is the case. However, it is known that healthy children are much less likey to have severe, life-threatening disease than the elderly, those with chronic medical conditions, or those who have compromised immune systems.
What is Mesquite Pediatrics' perspective?
We all must recognize that this virus is going to be with us for a while. It took some time for it to spread widely within our community but it clearly is quite prevalent here now. Whether you call this a second wave or a surge during the first wave doesn't matter. At this point (6/29/2020) Ariona is on the brink of running out of ICU beds, with Tucson hospitals sometimes diverting patients to other facilities when they have been full. Now more than ever, it is critical that we decrease the rate of spread to remove the strain on our medical system. People in their late teens, 20's and 30's have fueled the spread of the virus over the last month as businesses opened, thinking they were not at risk and didn't need to be careful any more. Obviously, that has turned out to be catastrophic as we are now one of the epicenters for the virus in the United States and even the world. So now we all must do our part and take this very seriously. Therefore we wholeheartedly endorse the requirement of wearing masks in public and other recommendations on social distancing. (CLICK HERE for a well-written article by a pediatrician about playdates). That's why we have made the changes to our procedures that are outlined on our HOME PAGE.
On the other hand, the risk for children has turned out to be much lower than originally feared. Again, we don't know why, but the disease tends to be much milder in children than in adults. So if your child does get the virus, there is no reason to panic. Current recommendations are to keep your child at home unless he or she appears to be having complications - difficulty breathing, dehydration, severe lethargy, etc. Feel free to contact us if your child is sick and you are concerned. We may do a telemedicine visit with you to see if you need to bring your child to the office for an in-person visit.
Where can I find reliable information?
There's a lot of bad information out there on the internet. We recommend you choose your sources of information very carefully as incorrect information can actually turn out to be dangerous. The sites below should have very reliable information that will be updated far more frequently than we can do on our site.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Information on the disease (spread, symptoms, FAQs): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
- Information on prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
- Current count of cases, broken down by states: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html
- World Health Organization
- Advice for the public (prevention, myths, etc): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
- Situation reports (cover detailed information of what is happening worldwide): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
- Arizona Department of Health (AZDHS)
- Update of cases in our state and links to other resources: https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home
- Pima County Health Department