Fast Five Quiz: COVID-19

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD


March 20, 2020

No specific antiviral treatment is recommended for COVID-19. Infected patients should receive supportive care to help alleviate symptoms. Vital organ function should be supported in severe cases. No vaccine is currently available for COVID-19.

Numerous antiviral agents, immunotherapies, and vaccines are being investigated and developed as potential therapies. These include remdesivir, lopinavir/ritonavir, rintatolimod, azvudine, danoprevir, and favipiravir. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitors may ameliorate severe damage to lung tissue caused by cytokine release in patients with serious COVID-19 infections. Further investigation is underway.

General measures for prevention of viral respiratory infections include:

  • Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

  • Individuals should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Individuals should avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Sick people should stay at home (eg, from work, school).

  • Coughs and sneezes should be covered with a tissue, followed by disposal of the tissue in the trash.

  • Frequently touched objects and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Patients who are under investigation for COVID-19 should be evaluated in a private room with the door closed (an airborne infection isolation room is ideal) and asked to wear a surgical mask. All other standard contact and airborne precautions should be observed.

The WHO recommends the following:

  • In addition to using standard precautions, all individuals, including family members, visitors, and healthcare workers, should use contact and droplet precautions before entering the room with patients who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. Limit the number of healthcare workers, family members, and visitors who are in contact, and maintain a record of all persons entering the patient's room, including all staff and visitors.

  • Patients should be placed in adequately ventilated single rooms. When single rooms are not available, patients suspected of being infected should be grouped together.

  • Where possible, a team of healthcare workers should be designated to care exclusively for suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to reduce the risk for transmission. These workers should use a medical mask, eye protection (goggles), and/or facial protection (face shield) to avoid contamination of mucous membranes.

  • After patient care, appropriate doffing and disposal of all personal protective equipment and hand hygiene should be carried out. Also, a new set of personal protective equipment is needed when care is given to a different patient. Equipment should be either single-use and disposable or dedicated equipment (eg, stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, thermometers) if equipment needs to be shared.

  • Avoid moving and transporting patients out of their room or area unless medically necessary. Use designated portable x-ray equipment and/or other designated diagnostic equipment. If transport is required, use predetermined transport routes to minimize exposure for staff, other patients, and visitors, and have the patient use a medical mask.

Read more about the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

This Fast Five Quiz was excerpted and adapted from the Medscape Drugs & Diseases article Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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