COLUMBIA— KOMU 8 News talked to MU Health Care’s Dr. Amruta Padhye, an infectious disease doctor, and brought her your COVID-19 questions.
What are the telltale signs or symptoms of COVID-19?
“COVID-19 can present with a variety of symptoms. Fever, cough and shortness of breath seem to be the most commonly reported symptoms, at least one of these presenting in at least 95 percent of patients from what we know. But there are other symptoms as well.
So you can have upper respiratory symptoms like congestion, runny nose, fatigue is another symptom that we’ve seen play out fairly often, being very tired, muscle aches, chills. Now, loss of taste or smell is a very unique symptom to call it as well, some people will also have GI symptoms. So gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting. So these would be symptoms that one should be aware of.”
At what point should someone get tested? What symptoms should be presented?
“If you have these symptoms that are mentioned before, then that would be a reason to get tested, especially if you’ve also had a cold exposure. But if you have not developed any symptoms, and you had exposure and you happen to be tested and were negative, it would be still important to stay in that quarantine period, even when you had a negative test and to 14 days have gone by.”
Is the idea of three months of immunity after testing positive true?
“So I think that is one of the recommendations where we do need to get retested if within three months if you had once tested positive, but it would be very important for those people to still continue to wear to wear masks and maintain social distance. Because we do know that there have been some cases of reinfection reporting. And so I think it’s not just not worth taking a chance.”
Are there different things you can eat or do to boost your immune system to make it stronger to fight COVID-19?
“I think eating healthy is always a good idea. But you know, by far, the number one means of protecting yourself is mass avoiding, you know, maintaining the social distance. Those are the main strategy strategies that have so far played, played to be effective.”
What do you know about the long term effects?
“The big longer term outcomes? We don’t know yet. Many people have certain symptoms that are longer lasting. We do know about the cardiovascular side effects, after COVID infection as well. So all that data is kind of all coming in.”
If some high-up public figures that have so much access to testing and different ways to protect themselves get the virus, what does that mean for the rest of us? What more can we do to protect ourselves?
“If testing is easily available, then that would that would be great. So that we can identify exposure, identify symptomatic and asymptomatic persons identify their contacts, etc. But I think when testing is not available, still following those, you know, the quarantine periods and following the, you know, the 10-day period of isolation if you were symptomatic, those would still be very helpful.
I mean, I wish we all had easy and fast access to testing for contact tracing purposes, and everything. But I think the reality is, is that that is not the case.”
Is there a potential for a second wave?
“We’ve still not gotten out of the first wave. So I question the possibility of the second wave because the first wave is still seeing the disease this you know, 10 months into the pandemic.”
What is something about COVID-19 that you wish everyone knew?
“COVID-19 has panned out to be a serious disease, pandemic affecting the entire world. And I think, you know, masking and social distancing are the main messages that I would like people to take home, so that we can bring about a change.”