CORONAVIRUS 2019 (COVID-19)
An important message from Dr. Miranda regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Learn More

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Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19)

A Message From Dr. Miranda

Dear Patients:

The Coronavirus 2019 has arrived in Colorado. The risk of infection remains low but will continue to increase over time. Unfortunately, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems or chronic disease are at greater risk of severe infection. However, infections in children of all ages appear to be mild.

Testing for Coronavirus 2019

Commercial testing through LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics will be available on Monday, March 9, 2020. LabCorp uses a nasal swab to identify the virus with an expected turnaround time of 3-4 days. Quest Diagnostics also uses a nasal swab but a different method with an expected turnaround time of 1-2 days. I prefer the Quest Diagnostics’ test.

I am taking every possible step to protect my most vulnerable patients as well as my staff while managing the needs of my patients with Coronavirus 2019 infection.I will be following CDC guidelines that require all patients to call the office for instructions rather than expose others in the office to the virus. If you have a concern about a possible Coronavirus 2019 infection, please stay home and call our office at 303-799-8890 or call me directly at 303-596-5266.

To reduce community and office transmission of the virus, I have a plan in place to test and manage my patients with Coronavirus 2019 without requiring a visit to my office. If you develop symptoms and I believe you may have a Coronavirus 2019 infection, my office will provide test kits and instructions to your family for you to be tested at home. Your family member will return the test kit directly to the lab nearest your home.

Self-quarantine of confirmed or suspected infected patients is critical to containment. If you are infected and do not stay home and away from others, you could easily spread this infection to a vulnerable patient.

Spread of the Coronavirus 2019

The Coronavirus 2019 is very contagious. It spreads through infected respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing as well as from touching contaminated solid surfaces and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. The virus can survive for up to 9 days on solid surfaces. Covering your mouth and nose with your arm when you sneeze or cough, frequent handwashing for 20 seconds and disinfecting solid surfaces will help slow down the spread of the virus. If you are over the age of 60, suffer from chronic illness or have a compromised immune system, I would recommend that you avoid large groups of people until we begin to see a significant decline in cases.

Symptoms of Coronavirus 2019

The symptoms of Coronavirus 2019 infection include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, fatigue, or body aches. Infected patients may develop all or some of these symptoms. These symptoms are like the symptoms of influenza or other more severe respiratory viruses. As influenza cases decline, these symptoms may indicate possible infection with Coronavirus 2019. Most patients infected with Coronavirus 2019 will have mild symptoms. Our most vulnerable patients, such as the elderly, those with chronic disease or those with compromised immune systems, are at greatest risk of developing severe symptoms.

Treatment of Coronavirus 2019

Treatment will be aimed at relieving symptoms and in some cases, treating secondary sinus or bronchial bacterial infections. Patients with severe symptoms will be referred to the hospital. At risk patients will be referred to the hospital prior to the development of severe symptoms. It is best practice to have me notify the emergency room prior to your arrival so they are prepared to receive you.

Several medications are being developed and tested for the treatment of Coronavirus 2019. Remdesivir, Galidesivir and Favilavir are three antiviral medications that have shown some promising results in patients with severe infections. The antimalarial drug Chloroquine in combination with Remdesivir is another promising therapy for patients with severe infections. A total of over 30 therapies are currently being tested.

Vaccine for Coronavirus 2019

There are several vaccines in various stages of development for the prevention of Coronavirus 2019. It will take several more months before we can determine if any of these vaccines are safe and effective.

The future of Coronavirus 2019

I understand that pandemics create anxiety and concern for many of you. I share your concerns but remind you that scientists throughout the world are working on therapeutics and vaccines to combat this pandemic.

Respiratory viruses like most strains of Coronavirus are seasonal and prefer cold weather and low humidity. We don’t yet know how Coronavirus 2019 will respond as temperatures warm up, however, I can predict with some certainty beginning in April we should see a decrease in the number of cases.

The numbers of infections and death from the World Health Organization as well as from China underestimate the true number of infections and therefore overestimate the death rate of 3.4%. In South Korea, wide testing of the general population found many cases with no symptoms or only mild infections. The South Korea data shows that the true death rate of Coronavirus 2019 is 0.6%. Remember the death rate for seasonal influenza in our country is 0.1%.

Please remember to first call the office if you are concerned you may be infected with Coronavirus 2019. For the safety of my staff and vulnerable patients who are in the office, please do not come to the office unannounced for ANY reason. We will be screening all patients prior to coming to the office.

Please do not hesitate to reach me or my staff if you have any questions or are concerned that you or a family member may have Coronavirus 2019.

Sincerely,
Charles H. Miranda, MD, FACP
South Denver Internal Medicine
10103 RidgeGate Pkwy, Suite 114
Lone Tree, CO 80124

  1. What you need to know – provides an overview of Coronavirus and a simple approach to prevent the spread.
  2. What to do if you are sick - provides guidance for the sick person who believes he or she might have contracted the virus.
  3. More info can be found on the CDC website.