Internal medicine physicians specialize in using the latest scientific knowledge and clinical expertise in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide spectrum of diseases that affect adults. While COVID-19 remains a health threat, staying home and practicing social distancing has reduced the spread of COVID-19 and helped to save lives.
Internal medicine physician Samuel I. Fink, MD, FACP, and our clinical team are doing everything possible to keep our team and our community safe. As of the date of this article, California has entered stage two of its reopening plan. As people gradually transition back to their livelihoods, it’s even more important to increase awareness about how to stay healthy during this evolving pandemic.
Know the symptoms of COVID-19
If you feel unwell or have the symptoms associated with COVID-19, it’s particularly important that you stay home and avoid contact with others. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Muscle pain
- Diminished sense of taste
- Loss of smell
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
If you notice symptoms, contact our office to discuss your symptoms with Dr. Fink.
Who’s at higher risk?
Based on currently available data, certain groups of people are more vulnerable to more serious complications of COVID-19. People at an increased risk are:
- Older adults
- People with asthma
- People who are immunocompromised
- People with liver disease
- Pregnant women
- People who are obese
- People with high blood pressure or heart disease
If you’re at a higher risk for serious illness, it’s crucial to do everything possible to reduce your exposure.
Who should get tested for COVID-19?
Testing remains a crucial part of treating and isolating people infected with COVID-19. Still, not everyone needs COVID-19 testing. There are two tests available for COVID-19: A viral test tells you if you are currently infected, while an antibody test indicates whether you’ve had an infection previously.
Health care providers offer guidance on who should be tested. If you have symptoms and want to be tested, the first step is to call our office.
State health departments have developed criteria for who should be tested for COVID-19, and the criteria are subject to change as new information becomes available. Our clinical team discusses your symptoms and determines whether you should be tested. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and can recover at home without the need for testing.
Reducing your risk of getting COVID-19
COVID-19 spreads through droplets from an infected person, such as from coughing or sneezing. You can get COVID-19 when you’re exposed to droplets on surfaces that you touch or in the air when you have close contact with someone who is infected.
Staying home as much as possible is the best way to reduce your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. Other ways to stay healthy include:
- Frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Regularly disinfecting surfaces in your home and at work
- Wearing a face mask when you leave your home
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Avoiding crowds, especially in places with poor ventilation
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Managing your health during California’s stay-home order
As California transitions through reopening phases, the state remains on a stay-home order as certain industry sectors gradually open under modified restrictions. If you have health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, or hypothyroidism, it’s vital to continue to manage your health as you remain home as much as possible.
Here are some tips from our experts:
- Continue to take medications as prescribed
- Monitor your condition (for example, track your blood sugar if you have diabetes or blood pressure if you have hypertension)
- Contact our office if you experience new or worsening symptoms
- Maintain a nutritious eating plan
- Keep up with any scheduled appointments
- Contact our office with any questions or concerns that come up regarding your treatment
Partnering with a health care provider is one of the best ways to stay healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilize the tips we’ve discussed here and maintain a healthy lifestyle while staying at home, manage any chronic conditions, and reduce your risk. To stay on top of your health, contact our Tarzana, California, office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fink, or request one online.