May 16th 2020 - Dr. Fred Buckhold, Dr. Andrew Janowski, Dr. Alexis Elward, & Dr. Sameer Siddiqui

Health Matters
Friday, May 15th
Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  Monday, St. Louis City and County begin to ease restrictions.  What does Dr. Buckhold think about that?  What places would he feel would be safe to visit or places to avoid?  Dr. Buckhold says try to avoid small, crowded places.  He says the biggest transmission factor is being in contact with someone for an extended period of time in close proximity.  He's also worried about shopping malls re-opening, depending on how well they make shoppers space out.  How long till we see results showing this lifting of restrictions is working -- or not working? He says it should be about two weeks to see an increase in new cases.  Dr. Buckhold also address what he thinks should be done to make our workspace and offices safe.

Dr. ANDREW JANOWSKI, pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Washington University School of Medicine.  With STL City and County opening up on Monday, how do we go about safely enlarging our social circle of friends?  Dr. Janowski says we should go slowly and realize that if we let in someone who have COVID-19 -- and that's hard to tell because of asymptomatic transmission of the virus -- everyone in your group could be infected.   Dr. Janowski also tells us how to stay safe in general.  He addresses if the virus can be found on our clothing and in our hair.  What about beards?  Dr. Janowski also tells us about that rare inflammatory illness being seen in kids with COVID-19 today.

Dr. ALEXIS ELWARD, Chief Medical Officer at St. Louis Children's Hospital and an infectious diseases specialist at Washington University School of Medicine.  More than 180 children across the United States have been found to be suffering from Kawasaki-like symptoms -- and then learning they have COVID-19 antibodies in their system.  This rare inflammatory disease causes vessels in the heart to swell.  Dr. Elward says St. Louis Children's Hospital has seen a couple of these cases -- with positive results, no deaths.  Symptoms include high fever for several days, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, change in skin coloring and shortness of breath or trouble breathing.  Dr. Elward says treatment is usually an IV of gamma globulin and aspirin.  Cases are rare, she says, but parents need to be aware.  And, she says, don't be afraid of taking your child to the hospital if you are concerned or call your pediatrician.  She's also worried about kids missing their vaccine appointments. 

Dr. SAMEER SIDDIQUI, SLU Care physician, interim chair of surgery at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  As hospitals around the nation begin the process of safely restarting elective procedures postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a blueprint created by Dr. Siddiqui is being followed by hospitals around the country.  Dr. Siddiqui tells us which type of elective surgeries are back underway at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. Emergency, urgent surgeries are still getting done.  Now, second level elective surgeries are starting up again -- many of those were put off because they were not urgent, but now have become urgent due to their delay.  Level 1 elective surgeries like colonoscopies and carpal tunnel will have to wait.  Decision on how to proceed depends on the level of protective equipment available and testing. Dr. Siddiqui says these procedures are very safe.