Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions
March 10 2020
Created March 9, 2020 | Photo: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS
What is the coronavirus?
The coronavirus is a new respiratory illness transmitted most commonly from person to person. It spreads through the air when a person with the virus coughs or sneezes. It also can spread through contact with recently contaminated objects like doorknobs and frequently used surfaces.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of the coronavirus include a mild to severe respiratory illness and can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. In the Houston region, there are many other causes for upper respiratory symptoms, like allergies, the common cold or the flu, that are more common than the coronavirus.
How do I prevent the coronavirus?
Per CDC guidelines, the beat way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus by:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
I have a regular Avenue 360 appointment. Should I still come?
Yes. Out of an abundance of caution, we are taking precautions to prevent the virus, including robust disinfecting measures. Our goal is to prevent anyone from being infected. As of March 9, there are about 12 known cases in the Houston area. We are not aware of any Avenue 360 patient who has been infected.
How is Avenue 360 protecting patients, staff, and visitors from the coronavirus?
Avenue 360’s highest priority is the health and safety of our patients and staff across our health care system. The organization has undertaken several precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including but not limited to:
- Screening patients, both on the phone and walk-ins, for potential symptoms of the coronavirus. This includes asking patients for possible symptoms, any travel history, including cruise ship travel, and any potential contact with a person known to have the virus.
- Ensuring clinical staff wear personal protective equipment when caring for patients with respiratory illnesses.
- Investing in additional training and protective equipment for medical staff.
- Encouraging hand and respiratory hygiene inside clinics.
Does Avenue 360 provide medical masks?
We only provide masks to those individuals, in consultation with Avenue 360 medical staff, who are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, masks are not available to other patients as they are in limited supply. We provide masks to those individuals who have respiratory symptoms, such as cough.
What if a patient has symptoms of the virus?
If Avenue 360 providers have a suspicion of a coronavirus case and the patient, if stable, is sent home for self-quarantine. If the patient is not stable, we will recommend hospitalization.
Where can I find more information?
Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here for more in-depth and most-up-to-date information about the coronavirus.
The information contained in this Avenue 360 Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and Avenue 360 recommends consultation with your Avenue 360 doctor or health care professional.