CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 4/22/2020

April 22, 2020

Shreveport Area Covid report from last eventing:

The number of coronavirus cases in Louisiana had been showing moderate increases over the past several days with Caddo Parish at 1,276 on Monday but as of Tuesday, the number of cases increased by 34 to 1,310.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office reported Caddo Parish topped 90 in its COVID-19 death count Tuesday, with 93 parish residents falling victim to the novel coronavirus. The first Caddo Parish coronavirus death occurred March 24.

The average age of decedents is 70.3 with the youngest age 22, the oldest 96. Among those who passed away from the virus, 42 black males, 26 black females, 15 white females and 10 white males.

Bossier Parish remained at 233 cases from Sunday to Monday but had 241 as of Tuesday, with 11 deaths related to COVID-19 on Monday. 

PERSONAL COMMENTS, J.H. HARRIS, JR, MD:

Harrison County had 59 cases as of last evening. Smith and Gregg counties have seemingly leveled off. If new cases in the area decline in the next two weeks, we will be fortunate in Harrison County. Unfortunately, we have many citizens with medical demographics suggesting that they will do less well with almost any type of infection. To protect ourselves and our neighbors, we must get our infection rate down and keep it down. Don’t take chances. Don’t get impatient. Avoid social contacts. If outside, wear a mask and gloves and wash your hands. Leave your town shoes outside when you get home (elevated if you have a puppy like mine) I would avoid visiting Bossier City establishments when they open up; they are too close to Caddo Parish and Harrison County to be safe.

After reading and rereading an article in the NYT yesterday (The Infection That’s Silently Killing Coronavirus Patients), I have decided to buy a couple of thermometers that work and a gadget called a Pulse Oximeter that fits over the finger and gives a fairly accurate estimation of a person’s oxygen level in the blood for family use. There are no finger sticks and no expertise is necessary to get a reading.  I plan to get a resting baseline oxygen (O2) and pulse (P) reading on all my family while they are feeling well and are at rest. Should someone then get sick, I will have a way to monitor them. Apparently, rales (rattling) on examination with a stethoscope are frequently not present early in the C-19 viral infection but a diminution of the O2 level might be present early. So, if I have a febrile family member (or myself) with fever and a lowered O2 level, with or without shortness of breath, I will seek emergency room evaluation and care. Incidentally, old, long-retired, semi-deaf doctors probably shouldn’t try to use a stethoscope anymore anyway.

I know that the medical supply store, Fresh Air, has oximeters. I’d bet that Walmart and other drug stores do too. Amazon does for sure. They should cost about $40 or less. I do not know which brand is the best, but they are all likely to be similar and fairly simple and very functional and tried.

Incidentally, if any of my family members have been out and about, I try and stay at least 6 feet away from them, and generally avoid contact. In my medical opinion, at this time, in this and most areas of the world, I assume that everyone with whom I come into contact is either sick or a carrier.

COVID SKIN LESION SEEN IN HOUSTON RECENTLY:

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