The worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) has arrived in the United States and this week, Georgia reported its first cases in Metro Atlanta.
The physicians at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma are closely monitoring the outbreak via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), and the World Health Organization (WHO). As the virus and protocols around the outbreak are evolving, we are working to protect our patients, providers, and staff.
According to the CDC, this virus is still limited in the United States, but as the situation updates daily, they are urging people to be prepared.
In an effort to minimize exposure, Atlanta Allergy & Asthma asks all patients who have a fever, symptoms of a lower respiratory infection (cough or shortness of breath), or have been exposed to a person with a coronavirus or the flu to reschedule their appointments. If you are ill for an extended period and are due for your allergy injection, contact your Atlanta Allergy & Asthma office for guidance.
The team at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma have posted signs in the offices and are currently following CDC and Georgia DPH recommendations for screening and management of patients. If you are concerned you may have a serious infectious disease, your best course of action is to contact your primary care physician’s office and follow their directives. At this time, testing is not available for Flu or COVID-19 in our offices.
People with asthma and chronic respiratory diseases are at greater risk for complications, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, if they are diagnosed with the new coronavirus, or any viral illness. The best way to protect yourself is to follow your treatment plan and if your asthma is not controlled, see your allergist. It is less likely you will experience serious complications from a virus if your asthma is well-controlled.
Like colds and viruses, the coronavirus is spread from person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching your nose/eyes/mouth. Handwashing, alcohol-based sanitizers, and avoiding touching your face are your best strategies for prevention. There is still quite a bit of influenza activity which is presently more of a threat than the coronavirus. If you have not yet received a flu shot, it is not too late and is still recommended by the CDC.
Again, this is an evolving situation, and the team at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma will be closely monitoring it and providing our patients and staff with updates.
Keep an eye out for more updates on Atlanta Allergy & Asthma’s website, Facebook and Twitter.
- Physicians and Staff of Atlanta Allergy & Asthma