As Coronavirus numbers grow, doctors stress social distancing, warning signs

Local News
Coronavirus: Facts Not Fears

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — With confirmed cases in many of our counties, doctors are reminding patients of ways to stay healthy and the warning signs they should be looking out for.

Their main focus right now is preventing any wide-spread of the virus through social distancing, especially with older patients or folks with a weakened immune system.

On Thursday, the PA Department of Health announced the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in Blair County.

Dr. David Burwell, Vice President of Clinical Quality and Compliance for UPMC Altoona, said the symptoms of the virus will vary depending on your age and health.

“It may be feel like just a small cold, but an older patient or someone who is immuno-compromised it may be seriously high fevers and significant shortness of breath,” he said.

Over the past week, positive patients around the country reported more symptoms, such as loss of smell or taste, nausea, and vomiting. However, in most cases, Burwell said there is a consistent warning sign.

“We are noticing patients that test positive in other areas in what we’ve seen have pretty consistent, classic high fevers as a consistent sign,” he said.

If you have symptoms that line up with COVID-19, Dr. Burwell recommends calling your primary care doctor and stay where you are unless your physician tells you otherwise.

“We’re requesting patients to stay home. The vast majority of these cases will be mild, but we are prepared to take of the patients that have more severe illness in our area,” Dr. Burwell said.

We can confirm that the patient who is COVID-19 positive is not being treated at UPMC Altoona. Staff could not comment if that person was tested at the collection site that opened just two days ago.

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