5/13/20 - You may have heard news reports about a possible connection between COVID-19 and a serious health condition in children currently called Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS). We are watching this very carefully and learning all that we can about this condition. We want to reassure parents that most children are not affected by the coronavirus and reports of children who become seriously ill remain rare and unusual cases. Please read this article for more information, and call us if you have any concerns.
5/1/20 - Dr. Seidman and Dr. Meyer present a Pediatrician's View on COVID-19. Please Click Here to view the video.
4/19/20 - YouTube Video: NOVA Pediatrics update and response to the COVID-19 Crisis
4/18/20 - YouTube Video: Dr. Tiffany Meyer discusses the importance of Well Child Checks during the COVID-19 Pandemic
STATEMENT ON COVID-19
March 13, 2020
Dear NOVA Pediatric & Young Adult Medicine Patients and Families,
With the rising number of cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide, we want to reach out to our patients and offer what knowledge we have about it and help put it into perspective from our clinical experience and judgement.
As you know, this is an evolving epidemic. Collective knowledge about the illness is being updated daily and we will continue to monitor and be in contact with our local and national health care agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) as we seek updated information.
Currently, we would like to address the following:
WHAT IS A CORONAVIRUS?
Coronaviruses have been around for thousands of years and are a common cause of upper respiratory infections. They are not new and most of us have been infected by them at one time or another. They typically cause mild respiratory symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, sore throat and sometimes a fever. In the past, there has been no increased concern over them, and physicians invariably do not test for them when patients present with cold symptoms. Coronaviruses are spread from person to person through respiratory/airborne droplet secretions and from infected surfaces when those secretions come in contact with our eyes, nose and/or mouth.
WHAT IS COVID-19 AND WHAT IS SARS-COV-2?
The current coronavirus outbreak which began in late 2019 has been named SARS-CoV-2 and seems to be somewhat similar to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003, although more widespread. The disease it is causing has been named “COVID-19”. It began in the Hubei Province of China and has been spreading with new case reports in new countries daily. Like you, we rely on information from the CDC, WHO and our local health departments to tell us the latest information regarding its spread. What we do know is that, like the SARS-CoV outbreak of 2003, children do not seem to be affected significantly by this current virus. Most deaths have occurred in the elderly (especially those above 80 years of age) and in those with pre-existing medical conditions (particularly cardiac or pulmonary). At the current time, there is no specific anti-viral medication used to treat this illness.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?
First, try not to panic. Remember that the mortality risk appears to be low for non-elderly and those without a chronic medical condition. At this point, it does not appear that children are usually affected beyond mild upper respiratory symptoms.
Since the virus is spread person-to-person through droplets and from infected surfaces, it is important to follow the standard precautions for all illnesses:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay at home if you are sick
- Wear a facemask if you are sick and can’t avoid being around others
- Cover your coughs or sneezes by coughing into your elbow and covering your nose and mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom, before meals, and after coughing and sneezing for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is 60% or more alcohol based
Additional precaution to take specific to COVID-19:
- Do not travel to highly infected areas
TALKING TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT COVID-19
With all the news about the COVID-19 outbreak, your kids are sure to hear talk about the illness and it can be very frightening. Try to keep your kids informed, but not anxious, by communicating facts based on their age and stressing the importance of hand washing as it is the easiest and most effective way to prevent the spread of any illness.
WHAT IS NOVA PEDIATRICS DOING TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN?
The providers at NOVA Pediatrics are staying abreast of the current pandemic.
We ask that anyone who thinks that they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or who has a significant likelihood of having it themselves (based on symptoms, known contact exposure or travel history to a place of known disease), please call our office, as we are not seeing any patients in our offices with known or suspected COVID-19. This way we can appropriately treat you via a Telemedicine visit while maintaining safety to our other patients.
We will assess and triage our patients with acute respiratory symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19 to minimize the chances of exposure to others. Any patient who is suspected of having COVID-19 will be triaged and isolated.
The health and well being of you and your child is important to us and we, like the American Academy of Pediatrics and pediatricians across the country, feel that office based well child care must be continued during the COVID-19 crisis so long as it is possible for us to do.
If your child is due for a Well Child Check and/or Vaccines, please schedule an appointment. Keeping your child well and protected from diseases such as the whooping cough, measles and bacterial meningitis is our priority.
We are taking great lengths to minimize risk to your family when you come in for well child care. We only see a minimal number of sick visits in the afternoons at the Woodbridge Office only. In addition, we screen all visits to minimize COVID-19 risk and thoroughly clean the office in preparation for the next morning well child checks. We use proper personal protection equipment (PPE) practices, minimize time in the waiting room and clean each exam room and equipment thoroughly between patients.
Anytime our offices are closed, we offer an After Hours Pediatric Triage Nurse Service, supported by one of our on-call providers. You can reach this service by calling our regular office numbers. NOVA Pediatrics is ALWAYS available to our patients. Please call us first before going to an Urgent Care or Emergency Room.
The Staff at NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine
- COVID-19 and You: FAQs
- Prepare Yourself and Your Family
- Children and COVID-19
- Talking with Children About Coronavirus
- COVID-19: Managing Stress and Anxiety
- Fight Germs, Wash Your Hands VIDEO
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
AAP Healthy Children
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Social Distancing: Why Keeping Your Distance Helps Keep Others Safe
- Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm At Home
Child Mind Institute
- Supporting Kids During the COVID-19 Crisis
- Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- Supporting Families During COVID-19
National Child Trauma Stress Network
Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU