WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) As we all know, it’s hard to adjust to a life of isolation under a global quarantine, but it is imperative that we take the guidelines given by our medical professionals seriously, as explained by URPG Family Physician, Jeffrey Swanson.
“This is actually a war,” says Dr. Swanson. “Notice that we have taken a wartime footing in the United States, national emergency, we’ve pushed back deadlines for filing taxes, all these things are done because we’re under extraordinary circumstances, it’s not a time to panic, nothing like that, it’s to have a healthy fear of what’s happening.”
Dr. Swanson is making it clear to Texoman’s everywhere that we are living in unprecedented times, and in order to beat the coronavirus, we have to better understand it.
“The virus typically is very quiet when it first infects somebody, for one or two days they may have no symptoms, but they actually can pass the virus onto others. After another two or three days of having the virus, they’ll start developing things like a sore throat, maybe a non-productive cough, a fever, and even bones aches or feeling of fatigue. It sounds very similar to the flu, however, this coronavirus is extraordinarily aggressive on lung tissue, and once it invades the lungs it can cause damaging effects to the bronchial tubes as well as the lung tissue itself…”
Producing shortness of breath and intense high fever, which can spell disaster for certain people. While this virus has proven to be hard enough on a healthy young person, Dr. Swanson says it’s extraordinarily difficult for those with any kind of health condition or the elderly.
In Wichita County, 99 people have been tested and they have 27 negative results confirmed with 67 test results pending. As of Monday afternoon, there are five confirmed cases of COVID-19.
While this is usually the time for major events in Texoma, shopping at your favorite local stores, or party time for spring breakers, Dr. Swanson emphasizes the importance of staying home, saying:
“If you touch anything assume that whatever you’re touching probably has coronavirus, so wash your hands afterwards…Understand that the people fighting on the frontlines are the nurses, the first responders, police officers, fire rescue, physicians, medical staff, medical assistance; these are the people that are fighting for the community right now, we need them to stay healthy, otherwise, we can’t fight the virus. “
Instead of having patients flood their emergency rooms, United regional is seeing some patients via telemedicine and they are conducting drive-by tests on URPG patients who are showing symptoms.
URPG is utilizing a system called “My Chart” which allows patients to access their medical history and contact a medical care provider via telemedicine, and if you’d like to sign up, click here.
Effective Monday, URPG is also rolling out a symptom checker to help people determine when and how to best seek care. After answering a series of questions, individuals may be connected with a URPG provider through a video visit if CDC guidelines indicate they are at risk for developing or spreading COVID-19. The checker is free and, if you are referred to a provider, the video visit will be billed to insurance or directly to you following the visit.
If you’d like to access URPG’s drive-by COVID-19 testing, go to the Care-Plus Walk-In Clinic at 4327 Barnett Rd. or call (940) 764-5275.
Remember, the best method of prevention is:
- Social Distancing
- Hand Washing and sanitizing