Columbia: 1600 Nashville Hwy. Columbia, TN
Spring Hill: 1003 Reserve Blvd. STE 110 Spring Hill, TN
Phone: (931) 388-8965
Fax: (931) 388-0815

Statement Regarding The Covid-19 Virus

March 5th, 2020:  Columbia Pediatrics is aware that the first COVID-19 case in TN has been identified.  This should not cause panic as it was inevitable that the state would eventually see this illness.  Expect the number of infections to increase across our nation over the next several weeks as our capacity for testing increases.  Again, increasing numbers of infection is EXPECTED and should not cause panic.

Be prepared:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with regular soap and water.
  • Hand sanitizer >60% alcohol kills coronaviruses
  • Cover your cough (cough into your elbow not your hands)
  • Wash your hands
  • Don’t touch your face, wash your face if sneezed or coughed on
  • Get your flu shot
  • Wash your hands
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • If you have a FEVER and COUGH cover your nose and mouth with a surgical mask if you go to a medical office. (otherwise DO NOT USE A MASK)
  • Wash your hands

COVID-19 is caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.  Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that commonly cause cold like illnesses in pediatric patients.  The difference with COVID-19 is that, because it is a new strain of the virus, we don’t have any innate immunity this illness.  It appears that kids have some cross-immunity to this new strain of coronavirus, most likely due to their repeated exposure to other viral infections including other coronaviruses.  There has not been a single pediatric death reported worldwide for COVID-19 (in contrast to over 125 pediatric deaths in the USA this year so far from the flu).  This virus is most concerning for our elderly population and those who have underlying medical conditions like immunodeficiencies, heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung disease.

In kids, COVID-19 acts like other childhood viral infections.  An infection with COVID-19 will present with cough, congestion (could be minimal) and likely fever.  Treatment is the same as for other viral illnesses – acetaminophen or ibuprofen, increasing fluid intake, cool-mist humidifier, nasal suctioning for infants, and honey (DO NOT GIVE to infants under 1 year of age) to soothe coughs and throats.  As with any viral illness, mild symptoms are best managed at home.  Keep kids out of school and daycare until fever free without tylenol or ibuprofen for 24 hours and until cough has calmed.

Your child should be seen for more severe symptoms including:
dehydration
difficulty breathing or wheezing/barking
ear pain >24 hours or ear pain with fever
sore throat without cough/congestion
persistent fever >100.4 for several days
ANY fever >100.4 taken rectally in a infant under 2 months of age (before receiving 2 month shots)

We DO NOT have a test for COVID-19 available in our office.  We DO NOT anticipate having a test available at our office at this time as the TN Department of Health controls where the test is available (if/when this changes we will update our information).

Columbia Pediatrics has been preparing for when the novel coronavirus appears in Middle Tennessee.  We have a very specific protocol in place so please answer our questions honestly and follow our directions as that will keep all of us healthy.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your cooperation!
Stay Calm and Wash Hands!

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