These days, it seems that you can’t turn on the TV, surf the web, or even talk to a neighbor without bringing up COVID-19. Of course, this makes sense: the novel coronavirus that first appeared in Wuhan, China late last year has spread rapidly, infecting 132,758 people and leading to 4,955 deaths around the world (at the time of this writing).
Many countries are taking extreme measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Citizens in Wuhan have spent over two months under quarantine. The entire nation of Italy is currently on lockdown. And here in the U.S., the president has declared a national emergency and many organizations, from public schools to Disneyland, are beginning to temporarily close their doors.
At Valley Dental Care of Plainfield, we want to provide our patients and staff with a safe, comfortable environment for their dental care needs. Therefore, we’d like to give you some helpful information about the virus, what you can do to protect yourself, and how we’re working to keep you healthy.
The CDC on COVID-19
According to the CDC, COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus – a cousin to known viruses SARS and MERS. It is a respiratory virus, which means it enters the body through your nose and mouth and primarily affects the lungs. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
While COVID-19 does appear to be very mild in most cases (for 80% of people, the virus simply feels like a cold or the flu), it can have devastating effects on certain groups of people, such as:
- The elderly (people 65 or older)
- People with chronic health conditions (e.g., heart disease, lung disease, diabetes)
At this point, the CDC is still gathering information about COVID-19. But there are a few things they have discovered: the virus can spread from person to person, and you can be contagious for days (or even weeks) before showing symptoms. For this reason, it is very important that we all take precautions to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy.
How You Can Stay Healthy
Because COVID-19 is transmitted through contact with the virus, the best way to protect yourself is by practicing proper hygiene.
Wash your hands regularly by lathering up with soap and warm water and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face as much as possible. Wipe down surfaces with disinfectants throughout the day. If you do need to cough or sneeze, DON’T DO IT INTO YOUR HANDS! Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm and wash or throw out the contaminated item right away.
Additionally, social distancing can be a useful tool in slowing down the virus’ spread. Avoid spending time in large gathering places – particularly places with groups of 250 or more. This will decrease your risk of encountering someone who is infected.
Finally, if you believe that you have COVID-19, call your doctor right away. As we mentioned previously, most cases are mild, and your doctor may advise you to simply treat yourself at home (as you would with the flu). However, if you are experiencing severe symptoms or you belong to an at-risk demographic, you may be asked to visit your doctor for testing or further treatment.
What Valley Dental Care is Doing
At Valley Dental Care of Plainfield, we know that this is a stressful and scary time for many people. That’s why we want to assure you that we are taking steps to guarantee your health and safety every time you enter our office.
Our office strictly adheres to the ADA standards for infection control. We regularly clean and heat sterilize all our instruments, and we take special care to wash our hands regularly and use gloves for additional protection.
When you visit our office for your dental exam, you can feel confident that you are protected from infection – and that your smile will be healthy, too.