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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19 and what are the symptoms of infection?
  • COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that began circulating in China in December. 
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 infection are very similar to that of influenza (flu).
  • Based on the most recent research the most common symptoms are:
    • Fever (77-99%)
    • Cough (48-82%)
    • Fatigue and muscle aches (32-52%)
  • ​​Only 4% of cases had runny nose or congestion.

How is COVID-19 spread?

  • COVID-19 is spread from small droplets propelled through the air by an infected person who is coughing or sneezing.  These droplets can land directly on or around you, but must make contact with your mouth, nose or eyes to cause infection.
  • The virus can also be trasmitted by touching a hard surface (doorknob or grocery cart) where the virus lives temporarily, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.  
  • Coughing or sneezing can propel a virus up to 6 feet away.  Have your child keep their distance from a person who is coughing or sneezing.  
  • Your child can contract COVID-19 infection by touching a hard surface like a doorknob or handrail where the virus may reside, then touching his/her mouth or nose.  Encourage your child to wash their hands frequently, especially while in a public place.  
  • COVID-19 is not spread through water.  Your municipal water will not be infected with the virus and will remain working during an outbreak.  There is no need to store bottled water.  
How long can COVID-19 survive outside of the body?
  • COVID-19 can live outside of the human body on hard surfaces (door handles, church pews and public restrooms) for several hours and possibly longer than a day.
  • COVID-19 lives for a much shorter time on soft surfaces such as tissue paper or your hands.

Does everybody who gets COVID-19 get really sick?

  • No.  It appears that 80% (and maybe more) of those who contract the virus have only mild symptoms. 
Who is at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19?
  • Older adults (aged 65+)
  • Those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes
Are children at high risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID-19?
  • It appears that children are just as likely to contract the virus but that their symptoms are less severe than adults
  • This is unexpected since young children, especially infants, are usually at higher risk of respiratory infections

How can I prevent COVID-19 in my family?

  • Have your children wash their hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer especially while in public places.
  • To the extent possible, try to have your children avoid touching "high-touch" surfaces in public places like door handles or public restroom surfaces.
  • Avoid large crowds.

If I am concerned that my child has COVID-19, should I bring them in for a sick visit?

  • If your child does not have fever, they do not likely have COVID-19 infection 
  • If your child has runny nose or congestion, they do not likely have COVID-19 infection
  • If your child has mild symptoms and is breathing without difficulty, it is best to keep them at home
  • If your child has fever and cough, please call us.  We are still seeing a lot of influenza and it is much more likely that your child has influenza than COVID-19.   
Does Alpine Pediatrics offer testing for COVID-19?
  • At this time, only the Utah State Health Department is testing for COVID-19
  • In order to be tested, patients must have symptoms and recent travel history to an area outside of the US with severe spread OR recent contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
Is there a treatment for COVID-19?
  • No. There are not currently any treatments available for COVID-19.  
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
  • No.  It will likely take at least 12-18 months to create and distribute a vaccine that protects against COVID-19.  
What is Alpine Pediatrics doing to protect infants and children who are coming to our clinic for a well visit?
  • We take our responsibility of keeping your child safe very seriously.
  • All of our offices have separate sick and well visit entrances.  Our waiting rooms for sick and well visits are also separated. 
  • For sick patients who have had recent travel to regions of the world with significant spread, or those who have had direct exposure to somebody with confirmed COVID-19, we are first screening through telehealth and if the child shows more severe symptoms, we are conducting car visits so as not to expose our other patients.
  • In the event of more substantial spread of the virus in Utah during the coming weeks/months, we will funnel all of our sick patients with respiratory illness to one of our five clinic sites.  That site would only see infants and children with respiratory symptoms.  All well visits and other visits would be seen at our other four clinic sites.  
Is it safe to take my child on an airplane or cruise ship?
  • At this point, we recommend against taking your child on an airplane or cruise ship
  • Airplane filters will block circulation of viruses through the ventilation system, however you remain at risk of contracting the virus from those sitting nearby.  Your risk would be similar to that of traveling on a crowded bus ride of similar duration.
  • Because cruise ships involve traveling in close quarters with a large group of people from around the world, it is easy for a virus to spread quickly. As we've seen in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, cruise ships appear to be one of the easiest places for the virus to circulate.