PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As things continue to evolve in the fight against COVID-19, there’s now talk of some new symptoms to look out for. Dr. Rob Danoff, who is on the frontlines in the battle against the coronavirus and oversees a testing center for Jefferson Hospital in Bucks County, talked to Eyewitness News about these new symptoms.
Q: Can you tell us about these new symptoms?
Yes. It is interesting. So in other countries, and we’re starting to see it here, loss of taste or loss of smell, or both, may be the only symptoms, in the early symptom of someone with COVID-19. And so the people with that tend to do very well. So please don’t get extra scared. We will test you, tell your doctor about the symptoms if you have it, doesn’t mean you have that disease but we are seeing more of it. So, please be aware.
Also, there is some other good news out there. It turns out some studies are showing that most people with symptoms develop antibodies to fight this disease early on. That’s why the majority, at least 80 to 85% of people who get this, have very mild illness and do well.
Q: There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. Where are we with potential treatments and medications?
You know, there are four clinical trials going on right now. Some are promising. So they’re really trying to expedite this and see what’s helping. I can tell you in other countries, even in our country, some people who are critically ill in the ICU are using some of these and some have shown some good results. It is still too early to definitely count on them, so just stand by but please don’t go out ask your doctor or the pharmacist for hydroxychloroquine… we don’t know it works yet. And they can do more harm than good. But keep in touch because it is being worked on very quickly.
Q: How are things going at the testing site you are overseeing? Have you seen an increase in patients?
Yes, absolutely. And some patients with mild symptoms, seen some with more symptoms. We are still seeing flu out there. So just everyone be aware, influenza is still out there. We are testing more people. It has been very calm. It is by appointment. As long as we provide information, that’s very helpful. And in South Korea where they shelter-in-place and in a lot of other countries that’s been shown to stop the spread of virus. So I want everyone to know, you have just as an important role as anybody. Because by you staying home, you’re protecting not only your family, but other people. So we are all playing a role and this will help us get through this in a good way.
Q: Dr. Rob, you also want to talk about the spread of fear going on right now. What’s your message for everyone watching?
Yes, the biggest virus right now is not really a virus, it is fear and anxiety. So the best thing is, don’t keep on the news all day or read about this all day. Do some other stuff that makes it normal. Know that there are a lot of people working on this, looking after you, we have good processes in place. The shelter-in-place is very effective. And then we’re going to get through this just like we always do. So please, look to try to get some normalcy in your life. The sun will always shine. We’re going to get through this, OK.