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

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

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

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

This page was lasted updated on 3/17/20

An outbreak of respiratory illness emerged in China and became international news in January of 2020. As it started to affect those living in Wuhan City, China, the World Health Organization began to investigate COVID-19 (originally named 2019-nCov), a novel coronavirus. It was causing severe illnesses among the population, and unconfirmed reports on Chinese social media channels suggest the outbreak was far worse than was being reported in the news. Towards the end of January, several areas were under quarantine, restricting the travel of millions of Chinese citizens. In other places in China, public transit was suspended, and businesses were asked to close for two weeks. Health authorities around the world began to monitor people coming from China for signs of infections. 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 Downingtown, many have some questions about the coronavirus. Below are some common questions and answers to them. This page will be kept up to date as best as possible but 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. 

Chester County Department of Health

Guidance from the Chester County Department of Health

Are there any confirmed cases in Downingtown, PA?

As of March 17th, there have been confirmed infections in Chester County of COVID-19. In addition to Chester County, other infections have been confirmed in neighbor counties as well as in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. 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?

This coronavirus shares many symptoms of the flu, a common cold, or a regular upper respiratory infection. These symptoms include:

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

This coronavirus, however, can develop severe complications, including:

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

While it isn’t known for sure how long symptoms take to appear, doctors agree they generally appear within two to fourteen days after infection. Some information indicates that some who are infected might not even show any symptoms, but still may be contagious.

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

Yes, AFC Urgent Care Downingtown 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 Downingtown?

Testing for COVID-19 may be available in the near future at our location. Please call ahead before arriving at the clinic if you feel you need a COVID-19 test. This is for the protection of our staff and other patients. You will speak with our staff and be provided with some guidance.

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

Although one is in the early stages of development, there is no vaccine for this virus currently. If you had a flu shot this year, it would not protect you from the COVID-19 virus. A vaccine likely will not be ready for months or even years.

How does someone become infected from COVID-19?

This virus originated from an animal that remains unidentified at the moment. However, one can become infected by person to person transmission. This virus is considered to be quite 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?

While community infections are becoming more common, there are still quite a few other things out there that could be causing your symptoms. These illnesses include the flu and upper respiratory infections. Your illness may not be related to COVID-19 at all. The two main symptoms we see in many cases 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 Downingtown 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?

The guidelines for preventing the flu can be used to protect you from the COVID-19. These guidelines are:

  • 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 the coronavirus related to SARS or MERS? Why is it called COVID-19?

Other coronaviruses can affect humans. Two recent outbreaks of coronaviruses include SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.) Both of these outbreaks were caused by a coronavirus. SARS is thought to be more closely related to COVID-19 than it is to MERS. SARS also first originated in Asia, while MERS was first seen in Saudi Arabia.

2019-nCov was originally assigned to this virus due to changes in how new infections are named. “2019” represented the year it was first detected, and “nCov” stood for “Novel Coronavirus.” “Novel” is used because it looks like no other virus ever seen before. World Health Organization officials changed the way infections are named to avoid misinformation or fear. They no longer name things like Lyme Disease, named after a town, or Legionnaires Disease, named after convention when it first infected people. This coronavirus now is identified by the name COVID-19. This name denotes the year it was first detected (2019) and its status as a new coronavirus. Another name some scientists use to describe this virus is SARS-CoV-2 or “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.”

AFC Urgent Care’s walk-in clinic in Downingtown 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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150 E Pennsylvania Ave, STE 140
Downingtown, PA 19335

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