Please consult this page often as current news and protocols are constantly changing (March 16, 2020)
As the growing impact from the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds here in Hungary and Worldwide, FirstMed is taking additional measures to ensure we maintain our service level while protecting the health and wellbeing of our patients and staff.
Please bear with us as we work within the guidelines and instructions from the local authorities and do our best to make sure our patients are seen in an orderly fashion. Some non-urgent consultations may be pushed back to later dates and some visits may take more time than previously necessary.
- All patients are asked when scheduling appointments about their current condition, e.g. colds, diarrhea, runny nose, cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, etc. A doctor will be given these notes and call you back to determine what the next steps are. Patients experiencing symptons of CoVID-19 will be referred to St. Laszlo Hospital.
- Please note that due to current governmental restrictions, some of our medical staff who are employed by state hospitals are restricted from practicing in private clinics during the current emergency.We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause and we are taking all of the steps possible to make sure that high-priority patients are taken care of as soon as possible. There may be waits to see some specialists.
- Sunday hours are suspended for the time being.
- Telemedicine consultations will start shortly.
- Please call first for an appointment!
Current best sources for COVID-19 news / International and Local
Daily News Hungary
Nemzeti Népegészségügyi Központ (Hungarian Health Authority)
- Main page (Google translate)
- English articles can be found main page but not many.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): From the US. Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a fairly new respiratory illness that was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019. The unfamiliar nature of COVID-19 has lent itself to a variety of unknowns and with new information coming available on a daily basis, the situation is rapidly evolving.
Situation in the United States, Risk Assessment and What May Happen?
The CDC’s website details how outbreaks of novel virus infections are always a public health concern and the risk to the general public depends on the characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people, the severity of the illness it causes and the medical or other resources available to control the virus and its impact. This is a current risk assessment for people in the United States includes:
- For the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is still low, but as the outbreak expands, the risk will increase.
- People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk being dependent on the location.
- Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.
What may happen? (CDC Website):
The CDC reports that more cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the United States in the coming days. It’s likely that at some point, widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur. If widespread transmission of COVID-19 were to occur, it would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time and schools, childcare center and workplaces experiencing higher absenteeism.
Symptoms and Protecting Yourself
According to the CDC, cases of Coronavirus have ranged in severity from patients showing only mild symptoms to severe illness and even death. Symptoms may appear within 2-14 days after exposure with fever, cough and shortness of breath listed as the most common. Since there is currently no vaccine to help prevent COVID-19, the best way to prevent the illness is to take some recommended actions to help reduce exposure. The CDC’s official website recommends the following preventative actions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or use a hand sanitizer
COVID-19 vs. Flu
With COVID-19 and the Flu producing similar symptoms, the two have been linked together from the beginning. Both COVID-19 and the Flu are infectious respiratory illnesses but they do have additional similarities along with some distinct differences. Lisa Lockerd Maragakis, M.D. listed the following similarities and differences on hopkinsmedicine.org:
- Both cause fever, cough, body aches, fatigue; sometimes vomiting and diarrhea
- Can be mild or severe, even fatal in rare cases
- Can result in pneumonia
- Both can be spread from person to person through the air from an infected person coughing, sneezing or talking
- Neither virus is treatable with antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections
- Both may be prevented by thorough handwashing, coughing into the crook of your elbow, staying home when sick and limiting contact with people who are infected
- COVID-19 is caused by one virus, the novel 2019 Coronavirus, and the flu is caused by several different types and strains of influenza viruses
- There is no vaccine currently available for COVID-19, though it is in progress, but there is a vaccine available for the flu that is effective in preventing some of the most dangerous types and reducing its severity.
FirstMed strives to provide patients the current best information regarding this current emergency.
We wish you good health!