2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Spreads to Oregon
COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan, China, back in December 2019. Since news of this new coronavirus broke, we’ve all watched and worried that it would make its way to Oregon. Now it’s here.
On February 28, 2020, the Oregon Health Authority confirmed Oregon’s first likely case of COVID-19, affecting a Washington County resident with no known exposures or recent travel to affected areas. This person is a member of the team at Lake Oswego’s Forest Hills Elementary School.
Lake Oswego School District has taken action to limit exposure by closing Forest Hills Elementary. Further specifics about Lake Oswego schools can be found on the district’s website.
Metropolitan Pediatrics is dedicated to the health and well-being of you and your family, and will be updating information as it’s available to help you stay informed and prepared.
When to Call Us
Please call us if you believe your child may have been exposed. It is important to remain at home so as not to infect other individuals.
Contact us immediately if your child develops COVID-19 symptoms. We’ll help come up with a plan to safely see your child without exposing other families. Metropolitan Pediatrics providers are prepared to provide telehealth services (video visits) in the comfort of your own Oregon home to limit exposure opportunities.
We’re also happy to answer your questions about COVID-19 infection. Here’s a list of other reliable sources to stay updated:
- For general information, call 211
- OHA COVID-19 updates page: govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19
- CDC COVID-19 page: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- CDC travel notices page: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
- WHO COVID-19 page: www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/covid-19
COVID-19, like other human coronaviruses, has symptoms similar to the common cold or flu. Some people experience mild illness while others become very sick. So far, children seem to tolerate the illness better than adults and most people who have tested positive for the virus have recovered.
Symptoms typically appear within 14 days of exposure and include:
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches
- Sore throat
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an organization of 67,000 pediatricians dedicated to the health of all kids, is closely monitoring children’s response to the virus.
“Based on what we know, children have experienced a mild form of the disease and some have been hospitalized,” said Ann-Christine Nyquist, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases. With many questions remaining about the virus, she urged pediatricians and their patients to seek information only from trusted sources – the AAP, CDC, and local and state health departments.
Protect Your Family
We know COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person, like a cold, through droplets in the air from coughs and sneezes. It is not as contagious as measles, which is a relief. For now, the best thing people can do is avoid exposure to the virus.
Other recommendations for staying well:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, about the time it takes to hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end, twice.
- If you cannot wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick or becoming sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (not your hands) and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Get a flu shot! There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection.