The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, which was recently named coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19. The coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China, where thousands of cases have been confirmed. Officials have identified a growing number of cases in other international locations, including the U.S.
Although there is much to learn about COVID-19, physicians should be aware of the first steps in testing pediatric patients, current protocols for patients who test positive and precautions for limiting the spread of the virus.
Listen to a pediatric infectious disease physician discuss the coronavirus
In this special episode, Sam Dominguez, MD, joins us to discuss the clinical presentation of the coronavirus in pediatrics, what providers should do if their clinical suspicion is high and updates on the epidemiology of the virus.
Dr. Dominguez is a pediatric infectious disease physician at Children's Hospital Colorado and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
In this episode, our expert discusses:
- What makes COVID-19 different from the other human coronavirus strains
- The prevalence of SARS and MERS coronaviruses that cause serious respiratory infections
- How COVID-19 is a beta coronavirus that is more closely related to SARS and MERS
- The implications of a novel pathogen — people have no immunity against the virus
- The lack of data to determine accurate case fatality rates for COVID-19
- How the estimated case fatality rate for the virus compares to seasonal influenza
- The challenge of diagnosing COVID-19 among the many other influenza-type viruses
- Fevers, coughs and difficulty breathing — the hallmark symptoms of the virus
- Other symptoms patients are presenting with, including gastrointestinal complaints
- Use of respiratory pathogen panels and why they are ineffective for testing COVID-19
- The first step in testing a pediatric patient and precautions to limit the spread of the virus
- Healthcare workers as a high-risk group for contracting the virus
- The current protocols for patients who test positive in the U.S., including isolation
- Understanding COVID-19 in the larger context of influenza in the U.S.
Treatment of infectious diseases at Children's Colorado
Our pediatric experts in the Infectious Disease program at Children's Colorado provide a breadth of expertise ranging from laboratory-based research to the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. Pediatricians can treat many infectious diseases, but when unique or different symptoms are present, it's important to refer to a pediatric specialist. We are prepared and ready to treat patients with suspected or confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus. Our clinical staff has been specially trained on how to identify, isolate and treat patients with this and other contagious illnesses.
Refer a patient to Children’s Colorado.