COVID-19 has yet to peak in the United States, yet over 40,000 Americans have already been sickened by the novel coronavirus. While it may amount to little more than a long-lasting cold for some people, COVID-19 can cause serious health complications in those who have underlying medical conditions. Dr. Khare explains what that means, who is at risk, and what patients should know.
Q: What Underlying Health Conditions Put People at Risk of Complications from COVID-19?
A: There are a number of medical conditions that may put people at risk for severe complications from COVID-19. These conditions include cancer, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, asthma, autoimmune diseases and more. The CDC offers a complete list and guidance for individuals at an increased risk.
Q: I am experiencing mild symptoms associated with COVID-19. Should I be worried?
A: Approximately 80 percent of people who get COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms. However, it’s important to know that you are at a greater risk of complications from the virus if you have underlying health conditions. If you are sick, we recommend scheduling a telemedicine appointment with one of our providers. The secure, online visit will allow you to review your symptoms with a physician and ask questions. During the consult, we’ll determine if it is necessary for you to be tested for COVID-19. If you have underlying health conditions, please take measures to keep yourself well. Heed the stay home order and stay away from other individuals who may be carrying the virus.
Q: I keep hearing that testing is not necessary. Is this true?
A: Identifying who has COVID-19 is an important measure in ensuring proper isolation and preventing the virus from spreading. While some areas of the country may have a shortage of tests, we are fortunate to have ample tests available in Chicago. Innovative Express Care has tested nearly 200 patients to date. If you are sick and experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, we recommend scheduling a telemedicine screening with one of our physicians. We will review your symptoms, discuss your risk factors, and determine if testing is warranted. If you qualify for testing, we will ask you to come to our outdoor medical testing tent. Patients wait in their cars until it is their turn to be seen in order to limit the number of people in the tent at one time.
Q: Do you have tests available?
A: Yes, Innovative Express Care has COVID-19 tests available. We are screening patients who are sick using our telemedicine system first, and if warranted, ask them to come to our medical testing tent. Visit our website for more information.
Q: Should everyone with an underlying health condition be screened for COVID-19?
A: Simply having an underlying medical condition does not warrant a COVID-19 test. It does however mean that you should be extra vigilant in protecting yourself from exposure to the virus. Stay home. Only go out for essential needs, and if possible, consider having someone else take care of those errands. If you are sick, pay close attention to your symptoms and consult with a doctor. Do not dismiss the warnings about this virus, as COVID-19 can prove to be very serious for some individuals.