A Local Emergency Medicine Doctor Answers Frequently Asked Questions – COVID- 19 Edition


This post is brought to you by: PFLEG MED

From the help of our area sister sites, we have gathered parents frequently asked questions about the COVID- 19 virus. Dr. Jennifer Pfleghaar is a local Emergency Medicine Doctor and an Integrative Medicine Doctor in Perrysburg, Ohio. Dr. Jen graciously answered our questions. We hope this helps our Northwest Ohio Parents.

1)   What is the timeline of the virus’ symptoms? At what point are people contagious and then no longer contagious?
  • The incubation period is thought to be 4-14 days (the time from when you catch the virus and when you show symptoms).
  • They are sending people home that test negative for COVID19, however, we still don’t know if people with persistent RNA of the virus can still shed the virus. There are a lot of unknowns but new studies are coming out daily.
2)   What symptoms should we be on the lookout for? When should people stay away from others? A fever? A cough? Congestion? How do we know if it’s COVID 19 or a cold? Or the flu?
  • Trends for COVID patients (studies done mostly on those that are in the hospital):
    • 77-98%  have a fever
    • 46-82% have a cough
    • 11-52% have malaise/fatigue
    • Shortness of breath at illness onset in only 3-31%
  • However, you might not know until you get testing. The flu usually has an acute onset, while COVID 19 is a slow progression. This one reason while it is as infectious as the flu, people are not staying home because they don’t feel sick or don’t know they have the virus. 
  • The big concern is that  20-30% of patients hospitalized have required ICU for respiratory support and possibly needing intubation (a ventilator machine). These are the higher-risk population and we need to protect them from getting sick.
3)  Where is the testing available? If at all? How many people have actually been tested?
  • Be on the lookout for drive-thru testing, or something similar, by next week. Right now, use telemedicine or call the doctor to prescreen. For Ohio, according to the Ohio Health Department, 13 confirmed cases, 159 tested pending results, 50 tested negative.
4)   Death rates for young children? For the immuno-compromised? 
  • So far children seem to not be as affected, however, they can still spread the virus to those that have complications, such as the elderly. We know comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease have a worse outcome, especially if over the age of 50. There still needs to be more research on the impact of those that are immunocompromised, especially in the USA where a lot of people are on biologics which suppress the immune system. 
5)   If we are sick, where do we go? Do we call first?
  • Stay home! Stock up and get cozy. If you have any respiratory distress then come in and be seen. Otherwise, you are just going to infect more people and overwhelm the hospitals. You can always call the ER, your doctor or use telemedicine if you need advice.
  • Immune support is also important. Eat healthy so when you do get sick your body will respond well.
6)   Where do you suggest going for up to date information?

How can you help?

Wash your hands. 

Stay home with your family.

Have your children stay home with you.

No playdates until we see how this virus is going to spread in Ohio. 


Do you have any more questions for Dr. Jen? Leave a comment below! 


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