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2020 Coronavirus Outbreak – How Does It Affect Aston, PA?

Recent news reports suggest the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a global health concern.

2020 Coronavirus Outbreak - How Does It Affect Aston, PA?

You must call ahead if you suspect you have symptoms of COVID19.

This page was lasted updated on 3/18/20

Starting in early January of 2020 in Wuhan City, China, health officials began to notice a new viral infection causing severe illnesses in the population. As more and more people became sick, the World Health Organization began to take notice and studied those who became sick. They discovered that a new coronavirus had started to infect the population, originally naming it 2019-nCov. It is now known as COVID-19. Social media reports, although unconfirmed, indicated the infection was much worse than reported. By the end of January, several provinces in China were under quarantine, public transportation was restricted in many areas, and in many cities, businesses were asked to remain closed for two weeks. On January 30th, the World Health Organization declared this new coronavirus to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.  Also, on January 30th, the State Department issued a Level 4: Do No Travel advisory asking all citizens to avoid travel to China and those in the country to depart immediately. With the continued outbreak of this virus, the State Department also issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel warning for:

South Korea

Italy

Mongolia

A Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution was issued for:

Japan

Hong Kong

Macau

Our neighbors in Aston, PA have been asking questions about the COVID-19 coronavirus. We’ve compiled a list of questions and answers for you. While we will do our best to keep this page up to date, this page is not updated in real-time.

For more information, please visit:

The CDC’s paged dedicated to this outbreak.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s page dedicated to this outbreak 

Are there any confirmed cases in Aston, PA?

As of March 17th, health officials have confirmed COVID-19 infections in Delaware County.  Additional infections have been found in other counties in Pennsylvania, as well as in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. The increasing trend of infections has led to the closure of school districts and nonessential businesses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

During a press conference with Gov. Tom Wolf, Dr. Levine stated:

“Further spread of this virus throughout the nation will likely occur. We encourage people to prepare for potential life disruptions. The same family emergency plans and kits that we use to prepare for flu or norovirus, and even snowstorms and floods, are important now. Pennsylvanians should continue to help stop the spread of viruses by washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning surfaces and staying home if you are sick.”

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus? How long do they take to appear?

Unfortunately, many of the initial symptoms of this new coronavirus are very similar to the flu, an upper respiratory infection, or the common cold. The symptoms include:

  • Runny Nose
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Muscle Pain

While most people can recover quickly from an uncomfortable bout with the flu or an upper respiratory infection, this new coronavirus can cause life-threatening complications, including:

  • Fever of over 100.4F
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Pneumonia
  • Sepsis
  • Death

Symptoms are reported to appear within 14 days of infection. Some reports suggest they can appear within two days. Currently, there is no agreement on what the average time you should expect symptoms to appear or if you are contagious before symptoms show up.

I heard Governor Wolf closed all businesses in Pennsylvania, is your urgent care center open?

Yes, AFC Urgent Care Aston is open for its normal business hours. The order was to close all nonessential businesses. Since we are an urgent care center, we are deemed to be essential and will remain open unless ordered to close.

Can I be tested for a COVID-19 infection at AFC Urgent Care Aston?

We cannot test or treat COVID-19 at this time at our urgent care center. If you suspect you are showing symptoms of an infection. Please call our urgent care center first before arriving for guidance. We want to ensure the safety and health of our staff and patients.

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

While one is being researched and developed, there is currently no vaccine for this virus. This virus has never been seen before by doctors, so the current flu vaccine offers no protection from it. New vaccines generally take months or years to develop.

How does someone become infected from COVID-19?

Initially, the virus caused infection in humans through a yet unidentified animal. However, person to person transmission is now possible. This has already occurred inside the United States. COVID-19 is considered to be contagious.

I don’t feel well, and I have some of these symptoms. Am I infected? What are the risk factors for the COVID-19 coronavirus?

Health officials in Delaware County expect the area to experience community infection.  When this occurs, the virus is actively spreading in the area and it will be difficult to determine how someone became infected.  However, it should be noted that there are other illnesses out there that can mimic the symptoms of COVID-19.  AFC Urgent Care Aston can easily treat you if you have the flu or an upper respiratory infection. Two symptoms that could indicated you have COVID-19 include:

  • A dry cough that produces no phlegm or mucus
  • A fever

There is a higher chance of contracting COVID-19 if you have traveled from China or Europe in the last 14 days or have traveled through an area of the United States with widespread infections.

If you have traveled to these areas or have the two symptoms above, do not visit AFC Urgent Care Aston without first calling.  Speak with our staff about your symptoms, concerns, and if you are at risk for COVID-19. We cannot treat COVID-19, but we may be able to determine it is something else over the phone. Please call so we can provide guidance.

How can I prevent an infection from COVID-19?

Experts suggest following the same guidelines you would in avoiding the flu to avoid infection from the COVID-19. Those suggestions include:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching surfaces and then your face
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
  • Cover your nose and mouth if you feel sick

For additional protection

  • Avoid live animal markets
  • Cook food thoroughly
  • Wear a surgical mask & eye protection

Is this coronavirus related to SARS or MERS? Why is it called COVID-19?

This virus, as well as SARS and MERS, are all coronaviruses. This current infection shares more similarities with SARS (Severe Acute respiratory Syndromes) than it does with MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. SARS was also detected first in Asia while MERS was first found in Saudi Arabia.

Health officials now names newly discovered viruses and bacteria based on their symptoms, severity, and seasonality. They no longer name new infections based on location, like Lyme Disease, which was named after a town, or Swine Flu, which was named after the animal it was first detected in. This change was made to avoid misinformation and fear that often occurred when new diseases were discovered. Instead of 2019-nCov, it is named COVID-19 to denote the year it was first detected (2019) and that it is a new coronavirus. Some scientists use another name to describe this virus: SARS-CoV-2 or “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.”

AFC Urgent Care’s walk-in clinic in Aston is up to date with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Do you have questions about the coronavirus? Feel free to call if you have any questions!

Check out this video about COVID-19 from Dr. Peter Lin, a family physician in Toronto, Canada.

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