Eyewitness News is working to get answers to your questions about COVID-19. We were joined Wednesday by Dr. David Schultz of Evansville Primary Care.
Brad Byrd: Our Coronavirus House Calls give you a voice to ask your questions regarding COVID-19. And we appreciate you reaching out. Let’s get to the questions now from our viewers. Julie asked “Why is it when some people have been terribly sick for a week with all the symptoms and finally go to the doctor, they say the symptoms aren’t severe enough for us to test you. But other people with the same issue have the test given to them no problem.” Your reaction to that.
DS: Well, certainly Brad, some of the problems we have in the Tri-state area is lack of testing supplies and so forth. And that’s not a problem just in the Tri-State, but that’s also a problem in America right now. And they’re working very aggressively to try to get available more testing equipment and supplies. The other thing is, from facility to facility, there are different types of testing available, and we’re striving to get the most accurate, most reliable testing equipment that can be done so there’s not false negatives and also false positives because both can cause devastating consequences.
Brad Byrd: Janine from Rockport has this question. “When are we getting more tests? Can we test everyone? Do we have that capability?
DOCTOR DAVID SCHULTZ: Well, Brad, it’s getting better. Certainly, about a week and a half ago, there was a five to seven-day turnaround on getting test results. Now we’re getting test results in as little as 24 hours at the hospitals. This is very helpful as we try to treat people in the hospital. We’re getting people in the hospital right know who are COVID suspected. We’re testing them, if they’re negative, we’re able to move them out of the COVID isolation because we have a negative result. That’s allowing available beds for other individuals who need that same consideration.
BB: Tamara from Birdseye asks ‘what about the ibupropfen thing? Is it safe or not?’
DS: Well that’s a good question and certainly Brad the jury still out on that, they’re still investigating that and so for now we are recommending not using ibuprofen when an individual is positive for Covid or if you suspect you have Covid. We’re not recommending ibuprofen but rather acetaminophen.
BB: Here’s a question I have- a lot of people are making their own face masks from bandannas to homemade masks. Can those do what n-95 masks do. How often should you wash them?
DS: Well that’s a great question Brad. The problem is the N95 mask is the most reliable but that’s also what’s in shortage. The homemade masks are not nearly as good as the N 95, it does not necessarily keep the viral particles out. What it does do for us and the reason we should use those is because it does keep some of the larger droplet nuclei away so it lessons the amount of viral exposure that we could have so the homemade masks are helpful from that standpoint. As far as how often we should clean those, those should be cleaned on a daily basis. If you come in contact with a known Covid positive individual it should be cleaned immediately.
BB: Cathy from Evansville asks my son has ulcerative colitis does that make him a higher risk?
DS: Well that’s a good question as well. Certainly if someone has an immunosuppressed type of condition like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease those individuals are going to be at higher risk of getting the virus and so if you’re immunocompromised with inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, COPD and so forth, those individuals are going to be at higher risk.
BB: Tiffany and Jason from knottsville, ky ask
with the way it spreads, will we ever be able to go back to normal? will it slow during the summer?
DS: Well an answer to that question, there are several things to consider. First of all with the warmer temperatures, with the higher humidity we’re already seeing evidence that does slow down the virus and its spread to the extent we have no data to support how fast that works. We’re hoping that with the warmer temperatures it will slow it down. Now will life go back to normal? Life’s going to be change from this. This is a life-changing moment in our nation’s history and in our medical history as well. We’re learning more about viruses than we’ve ever dreamed we’d ever learn and it’s forcing us to try to investigate how these viruses work and what potential’s we can come up with to try to keep these viruses from coming back.
BB: Tiffany and Jason also ask do you think we will have a covid-19 season kinda like flu season? is there a chance they could get rid of it for good?
DS: We’re hoping that over time with the good technique that this virus will go away but most of us in the medical profession feel that this virus will be here to stay unfortunately and with that hopefully we can come up with a vaccination to eradicate it. But one positive that may come out of this is we’ve always struggled year after year trying to get everybody immunized appropriately we’re anticipating there will be a large amount of individuals seeking immunization for not just the new vaccines that may come out but also for the flu vaccine that’s available every year
BB: Alright Dr. Schultz one last question. Angela from Owensville, Indiana wants to know what is the 1st symptom that people experience with this? i know that fever, dry cough are common but what is the 1st indication that people notice. do all people get the fever symptom?
DS: Well about 98% of individuals are developing fever above 100.5 we are also seeing myalgias which are body aches. Interestingly we’re seeing gastrointestinal symptoms which would be nausea, vomiting and even diarrhea and we’re learning more about this that as the weather is getting warmer and as this has going along we’re seeing more of those GI effects as an early sign certainly some indication to the loss of taste and smell as an indicator that you may have gotten covid 19.
BB: Right we have plenty of other questions Dr. Schultz thank you so much for joining us today and we’ll be talking to you quite frequently during the coming weeks.
DS: glad to be here