When and when not to go to the doctor?

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Many people may wonder when or if they should go to the doctor due to COVID-19. Dr. Chris Dehlin of Singletrack Health in Marquette says recommendations on what do during the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing.

“Basically if you have no symptoms, you don’t need to be seen,” said Dr. Dehlin. “So symptoms are fevers, chills, cough, shortness of breath.”

Dr. Dehlin says if you have mild symptoms such as a runny nose or a raspy voice it’s best to isolate yourself at home until you feel good again for 72 hours.

“If you’re having symptoms that would have previously brought you to the doctor, then you should call your doctor instead of directly going to the doctor so call your doctor first to determine the next best steps,” said Dr. Dehlin.

This week, Singletrack Health has started seeing their sick patients in the parking lot and wearing full protective gear to not expose any germs to their other patients.

“But this also provides for people who are sick to be seen and evaluated,” said Dr. Dehlin “There is still a lot of influenza and pneumonia, strep throat, sinus infections, RSV, a number of other infections going around that have somewhat similar symptoms. Alternatively if you’re having severe symptoms which are severe shortness of breath, which previously would have prompted an emergency room visit then you should probably go to the ER. They’ll likely stop you at the door and put a mask on you to reduce your risk of transmitting anything that you might have to other patients and employees.”

Dr. Dehlin also recommends that if you’ve had contact with a person with COVID-19, to call your doctor to determine your next steps. There are test kits for COVID-19 in the U.P. that can be used if there is serious potential that a person has the virus.

“Most of the test are going to be a nasal pharyngeal swab,” said Dr. Dehlin. “It’s basically a flexible Q-tip that gets inserted straight back into your nose about two and half inches. It’s mildly uncomfortable and it’s a little worse than getting a strep test. A strep test is getting a swab in the back of your throat. Some of the test kits may be a swab in the back of the throat it kind of depends on the swabs and the containers. Whatever a facility has.”

Dr. Dehlin recommends using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a resource. For more information, click here.

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