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Coronavirus: The 8 Things You Should Know from Dr. Bill Frist, MD

Henry Gindt
Mar 15 · 5 min read
coronavirus next to red and white blood cells
coronavirus next to red and white blood cells

*If showing symptoms of Coronavirus (see item # 3 below), please visit your nearest hospital, call your personal doctor or book a low-cost telemedicine consult depending on the severity of your symptoms. As of March 19, 2020, you can order at-home coronavirus test kits priced at cost. You will nearly certainly be able to receive reimbursement for the test from your insurance company or employer.*

I had the great honor of getting to know Former US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD when I was starting my first healthcare company in Tennessee, who advised me on a medical price transparency company called LinkedCare. In an era when people are either Republican or Democrat, “Trump Supporters,” or Anyone But Trump, when everything is either black or white, true or untrue, people like Dr. Frist show what a good American citizen does in times of crisis: he offers the community what he has to offer, in his case: medical, political and business experience rivaled by few others. Below are the eight things Dr. Frist learned after speaking with the Chinese physicians leading their country’s response to the Coronavirus.

# 1 Early control of local transmission begins with testing as many individuals as possible and then moving those patients who tested positive to local hospitals to be put on ventilators (in isolation when possible/feasible).

Testing has begun in many cities around the country. Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp will also be rolling out tests in the coming days, and YouHealth is fortunate to be able to offer coronavirus tests at cost by visiting your local Quest Diagnostics with a YouHealth testing code. Failure to get adequate testing done early will result in the rapid spread of the virus, possibly overwhelming the overall healthcare capacity in the United States (# of beds and physicians able to treat the sick vs. # sick patients ).

# 2 Social distancing measures proved very effective in China.

Many companies are advising their employees to work from home over the coming weeks and Shopify is even giving their employees $1,000 to buy food supplies to work from home! This includes delaying all “non-essential” social functions in society as we are now seeing with the NBA and other sports leagues and entertainment events delaying and canceling events and shows. See the below graphic from the CDC showing how social distancing can alleviate the stress on our healthcare system by reducing the number of total sick patients in the community:

social distancing curve for covid-19 coronavirus
social distancing curve for covid-19 coronavirus
Source: CDC

The social distancing measures in China resulted in a peaking of the virus at Day 10 after the first virus case was reported in Shanghai. This was followed by 6 days of elevated levels of new coronavirus cases, followed by a rapid decline in the number of Coronavirus cases thanks in part to the social distancing measures and effective initial testing. After the cases started to decline, life in Shanghai and China was able to go back to normal.

# 3 The most common symptom of the disease appears to be fever, which occurs in over 98% of cases

Apart from fever, the next most common coronavirus symptoms include fatigue, dry cough and muscle soreness, in that order. Do not panic if you have these symptoms, but take appropriate action, including calling your personal doctor or even reaching out to a telemedicine provider.

# 4 The “viral load” (the amount of virus in the bloodstream) has a direct impact on the severity of the disease

Many people who have the disease and are “carriers” are asymptomatic, meaning they are not personally affected but are able to transmit the disease to more vulnerable people in society such as the elderly.

#5 Confirmation of a positive testing of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) included two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, one after another

For now, what is being offered in the United States are single tests authorized by a licensed physician in your state. There may be a second test required depending on individual cases.

# 6 Chest x-rays and CT scans have not been precise in identifying Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Again, many labs (and hospitals) are working on developing high-throughput tests themselves, with some New York City-based hospitals’ systems’ testing capacity already online. As mentioned earlier, there are companies like YouHealth that are working with lab companies to offer these tests at cost by visiting the nearest Quest Diagnostics lab or ordering an at-home test kit sent straight to your home.

# 7 The average time from initial contact of the virus to showing symptoms was about 6.5 days in China

Symptoms will not show up immediately. This is the reason for encouraging social distancing as you could be spreading the virus inadvertently.

# 8 While no anti-viral agent has been approved to date for the test, clinical trials are underway across the world, particularly in China

Given that this disease is in the same family of viruses as the SARS outbreak from 2003, drugs that were developed for the SARS illness could possibly work for this outbreak of Coronavirus. Trials are also underway to see whether drugs originally developed for HIV, ebola and malaria could prove effective. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, reach out to YouHealth with any questions or book a telemedicine phone or video visit with a doctor.

Finally, please share this article on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to get the word out about these 8 real facts about Coronavirus from the leading Chinese and American physicians in the world addressing the pandemic. If showing symptoms, please visit your nearest hospital, call your personal doctor or book a low-cost telemedicine consult depending on the severity of your symptoms. As of March 19, 2020, you can order at-home coronavirus test kits priced at cost. You will nearly certainly be able to receive reimbursement from your insurance company or employer.

Henry Gindt

Written by

Former White House official. Founder of telemedicine and personalized nutrition, wellness and DNA genetics testing company

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