COVID-19 Prevention Strategies for Our Patients in Magnolia, TX & Vintage Park
At Medella Urgent Care, we understand that many people in our community are concerned about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and we want you to know that we are here for you at our two Houston-area clinics in Magnolia, Texas, and Vintage Park. As the current situation continues to unfold, we are receiving many questions from our patients about how to prevent a COVID-19 infection and minimize its spread, and we are pleased to offer some general guidance.
A COVID-19 infection can affect different people in different ways. Some people, including the elderly and those who have a compromised immune system, are at heightened risk of developing very serious health complications that may require hospitalization. In many cases, however, the symptoms of COVID-19 are very mild and go away on their own within approximately a week to 10 days. This common lack of noticeable symptoms is a key driver behind the success and prevalence of the novel coronavirus. Why? Many people who are actively infected and contagious do not even realize it. Instead, they continue to go about their daily routine and, in the process, infect others.
Learn How to Protect Yourself & Others From COVID-19
There are many precautions you can take to protect yourself and others against the novel coronavirus, which primarily spreads from person to person. The best way to do so is to avoid close contact with others by staying at home as much as possible until the virus is contained.
Why is quarantine necessary? When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny liquid droplets containing the COVID-19 virus are discharged from his or her nose or mouth. The airborne droplets can then easily enter the nose, mouth, or eyes of anyone who is nearby. This is the most common way respiratory infections such as COVID-19 are transmitted. Therefore, it is critically important to cover your coughs and sneezes with a clean tissue or sleeve. Likewise, you should not share food, drinks, cups, eating utensils, cosmetics, or sporting equipment (such as mouthpieces), with others, including members of your household.
Of course, under certain circumstances, you may find it necessary to leave your home during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, you may need to seek in-person medical care, obtain food or other essential items, perform your job (if you are an essential worker), exercise, or leave in the event of an emergency. If you do, it is imperative that you avoid close contact with others. To protect yourself from COVID-19 when you go out, experts recommend practicing social distancing, which essentially involves maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people at all times. Whenever you are in a public place, you should also cover your nose and mouth with a cloth face mask, bandana, or other protective covering.
Frequent Hand Washing
Scientists believe that COVID-19 can also be spread via contact with a contaminated surface. Tiny viral particles emitted from the respiratory tract of an infected person can land on a surface or object. The amount of time those viral particles remain viable is still unknown. However, if an uninfected person touches a contaminated surface, then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eyes, the virus can invade his or her body via mucous membranes.
It is possible to destroy viruses on your hands by washing them thoroughly with soap and water—or rubbing them vigorously with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol—for a minimum of 20 seconds. For this reason, the importance of frequent handwashing during the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be overstated.
An Annual Flu Shot
We encourage everyone to get an annual flu shot, if appropriate. While the influenza vaccine does not provide protection against COVID-19, it can reduce the likelihood of contracting the flu and the novel coronavirus at the same time. This is important because simultaneous infections are more likely to lead to serious health complications, such as pneumonia, than a standalone flu or COVID-19 infection.
For additional COVID-19 information and tips on how to protect yourself and others from the novel coronavirus, Medella Urgent Care suggests the following online resources:
- COVID-19 information and guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Children’s book illustrator Grant Manier interviews Medella Urgent Care’s Derrick Mitchell, MD, FACEP, about COVID-19: