As I am sure you are aware, the coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the WHO (World Health Organization) and is causing a great deal of concern for everyone. Unfortunately, many people are confused and panicked by this situation. Most people who contract this disease are not severely affected.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
Although we have a lot to learn about this virus, it appears to spread like other respiratory viruses — by people with the infection coughing and sneezing. These droplets are inhaled by other people or moved to the eyes, nose or mouth by contaminated hands.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are flu-like and include fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, may develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia.
If you currently feel sick, please reschedule your dental appointment and call your physician. This is especially true if you have a fever, cough, sneezing, or shortness of breath. The same thing applies if you have had any of these symptoms in the last 48 hours.
Please also reschedule your appointment if, in the past two weeks, you have either been in close contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19, or have returned to the United States from an area affected by the coronavirus disease. Right now this list includes China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. However, the list of countries continues to change, so it’s a good idea to check this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for updates on the affected countries.
Your health and safety are always our top priority. Please know that we maintain the highest sanitation and sterilization standards in our dental office. Each treatment room is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each patient, using agents that kill germs and viruses.
As always, please don’t hesitate to call our office if you have any questions or concerns.
To your health,
Dr. Oliver and Dr Riley
W. Laurence Oliver, DDS
Diplomate, American Board of Special Care Dentistry