COVID-19 Tips & Updates from Nurse Mason
October 19, 2020
Is there anything I can do to decrease my chances of getting severe symptoms if I do contract COVID-19?
Yes – Research studies on all types of viruses have shown that if we can decrease our viral dose or load (the amount of virus that enters our body), the likelihood of severe symptoms decreases dramatically. If your exposure dose is very high, the immune system can become overwhelmed. Between the virus taking over huge numbers of cells and the immune system’s drastic efforts to contain the infection, a lot of damage is done to the body and a person can become very sick.
On the other hand, if the initial dose of the virus is small, the immune system is able to contain the virus with less drastic measures and the person may experience fewer symptoms. So what can we do to decrease our viral dose? Wear a mask, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and whenever possible, keep 6 feet of distance between you and other people outside your household. If someone in your household does contract COVID-19, isolate them from the rest of the household.
Can an asymptomatic person transmit the disease to someone else?
Someone who is asymptomatic expels much less virus than someone who is symptomatic. If you go hang out at a friend’s house in the backyard and sit 6 feet apart, the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 from an asymptomatic person is significantly less than if you spend the evening inside having dinner without wearing masks. The virus is diluted quickly in the outside air. Because there’s good ventilation the droplets/aerosols don’t travel as far, the amount of virus you are exposed to is much lower than inside the living room. If you are all wearing masks you will decrease that risk that much more.
Nurse Mason is an Oakland County Health Department nurse assigned to St. Catherine of Siena Academy to help us keep our STARS and their families informed and safe this year.
Caroline Mason, M.Ed, BSN, RN
Oakland County School Nurse