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Posts Tagged ‘ orangecountycovidtesting ’

Covid Blog 2021 Physicals Orange County

By editor
March 16, 2021

With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan, this is for all you Pirates of Penzance fans who have had to deal with the pandemic over the last year.
 
Pirates of Pandemic Patter
(to be sung at a rapid tempo)
 
After all the quarantine it’s time to move around, even dance
Ask Gilbert and Sullivan; sing along to Pirates of Penzance
 
You are the very model of a novel coronavirus
You ruin health, economy, and holidays are quite the fuss
 
Sneaky how you incubate, 2 weeks ‘til you rear your ugly head
Some folks don’t even know they’re sick while others can’t get out of bed
 
You mimic every symptom out there, what a tangled web you weave
So many “experts,” self-appointed, hard to know whom to believe
 
CDC just cracks us up, thinks it knows exactly when you’ll leave
You come and go without reservation, offering no reprieve
 
 
Time to take a break from the patter
Let’s talk important next steps that really do matter.
 
Whether you’ve had COVID or not, you’ll need a checkup in 2021.
 
It will be different than any physical you’ve ever had before.
 
In fact, at Caduceus there are three categories of checkups for 2021. As we introduce HUEY, DEWEY and LOUIE, see to which one you relate.  Call us quacks if you like, however Caduceus may be the only medical group with COVID specific checkups for 2021!!!
 
 
HUEY-
 
HUEY has not had COVID.  He mostly stayed home, wasn’t able to exercise, packed on the COVID 19 pounds, may have consumed more than his usual amount of cheeseburgers and does recall daily happy hour.  Diabetes runs in his family however he’s sure he’s fine.  HUEY schedules his annual checkup which includes:

  • Lab work to check on diabetes, high cholesterol, fatty liver and more
  • If female, mammogram and Pap, depending on date of last test
  • COVID antibody testing.  Huey may have been an asymptomatic case and already have protection.  Or Huey many have gotten the vaccine(s) and have antibodies

If over 50, HUEY meets criteria for:

  • Colon cancer screening
  • PSA if male
  • Bone density testing
  • Shingles vaccine

If over 65, HUEY meets criteria for pneumonia vaccine.
 
HUEY is still nervous to go out in public, so the good news is HUEY DOESN’T HAVE TO COME INTO THE OFFICE.  We can start the 2021 checkup from the comfort of your home or office.
 

  • Curbside lab draws
  • Video Visits to review the tests
  • We’ll go from there – some things will require an office visit as we haven’t figured out how to biopsy a mole, pierce an ear, or do a Pap remotely.

 
 
Can’t resist the urge to rhyme
Let’s indulge the patter one more time
 
Virus analogy is a dragon, with a very long tail
Ignore bedrest and do too much, the symptoms come back without fail
 
Docs try and try, I don’t know why, as we all know there is no cure
Despite Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, you endure
 
Z-Pak, zinc, lots of vitamins, then Decadron and Tylenol
Trying any and everything, like throwing pasta at the wall
 
Has convalescent plasma become the ultimate gift to give?
Will sharing antibodies be the thing that helps others to live?
 
Prone position, oxygen, Remdesivir flowing through the vein
As soon as something starts to work it transforms into a new strain
 
 
DEWEY-
 
DEWEY did have COVID last year, not a bad case.  DEWEY took a Z-Pak, some cough medicine, and had an inhaler, just in case.  He feels pretty lucky to have been out of commission only a short time.  He’s pretty sure he’s back to 100%.
 
In addition to EVERYTHING COVERED in HUEY’s physical, DEWEY’s checkup will include some additional post COVID labs.  Studies show that even people with asymptomatic or mild cases may have post-COVID Syndrome, affecting their organs.  Labs may include:
         

  • Tests double checking your heart, lung, kidney, and liver function
  • Additional labs looking for post-COVID inflammation
  • Antibody testing monthly

 
 
OK, it’s time
A little more rhyme…
 
IgM and IgG – antibodies are talk of the town
Everybody wants a bunch, to last and last and never go down
 
Pandemic rocked our world so hard and now the aftershocks we feel
Enter Moderna, Pfizer, J& J – is vaccine the real deal?
 
You are the very model of a novel coronavirus
You ruin health, economy, and holidays are quite the fuss
 
Learning more each day; using science and common sense best we can
Let’s hope virus this mutates out, and leaves as fast as it began!
 
 
LOUIE has survived the monster virus, had a severe case, may or may not have been to the hospital and may or may not be feeling back to 100%.  LOUIE may still be experiencing fatigue, occasionally still needs inhalers, sometimes can’t sleep, and his head feels a little foggy.  Oh, and LOUIE’s gut is still bothersome.  LOUIE is not alone.  We are shocked at the number of patients who still have lingering post Covid symptoms.  Post-Acute Sequelae of Sars-CoV-2 infection (PASC) is a thing.  Worldwide, reported incidence ranges from 10-30%.  LOUIE has won the war, however the battleground may have sustained some damage and needs time to repair.  LOUIE’s annual checkup will include everything that HUEY’s and DEWEY’s did, and can also start from the comfort of home or office. We may run a few additional tests or labs to specifically check on LOUIE’s heart, lungs, kidneys and brain depending on the severity of LOUIE’s post Covid symptoms.  Tests may include:
 

  • EKG
  • Echocardiogram
  • Pulmonary Function Studies
  • Pulmonary Rehab
  • Antibody testing monthly
     
    So, for 2021, are you HUEY, DEWEY or LOUIE?
     
    We recommend antibody testing regularly for everyone and will offer monthly antibody options for all categories.
     
    We’ve instructed staff not to giggle if they receive a call asking to schedule a HUEY/DEWEY/LOUIE physical!

    Gregg DeNicola MD CMO, Caduceus Medical Group, PDQ Urgent Care & More, & PDQ Telehealth
    Mary DeNicola DNP PDQ Operations Officer 

 

 

 

 

 


CMO Covid Orange County Blog- Shares his story

By editor
January 26, 2021

It was 3 PM on my second day in the hospital--Christmas Eve- and was due to have a half hour IV infusion of Remdesivir for my Covid pneumonia. 

I looked up at the IV bottle.

It was a dark glass container, looking identical to an upside down Kahlua bottle. More bothersome - there were three heads coming off the bottle, each looking like a Satanic face.

Scared, I assumed I was dreaming. But squeezing myself, I knew I was totally awake. I closed my eyes, and looked up again at the bottle being hung. Same vile image. I noted one of the faces looked identical to the character "Anonymous.”

As a physician I knew I was hallucinating.  I knew hypoxia or high flow oxygen, of which I was having both, can cause hallucinations.

Yet it was as surreal as it comes, physician or not.

I decided to not look up until the infusion was done, and not ask my nurse about the unorthodox IV she hung.

The next day on Christmas, at 3 PM it was time for my second dose. The nurse came in to hang the IV bag. It took all I could do to look up as she hung it. It was a small clear vinyl bag, used for all IV meds. I was relieved the devilish Kahlua bottle was nowhere in sight.

I summoned the courage to ask my nurse, “was yesterday’s dose put in a different bottle?” “No,” she said, “it was the exact same small clear IV bag.”

I asked her if I had been napping when she hung the first dose. “No,” she said, “you were wide awake; why?”

I decided if I ever wanted to get released, I’d best keep my hallucinations to myself. “Just wondering,” I answered.

This falls into the category of "you know you are sick when.”

I can boil my experience into three unexpected memories. That bottle was obviously number one.

The second was my activities during my nine day stay. I had brought some books to read, planned on watching classic movies, brought a shaver and toothbrush, and some shampoo if I had a shower in my room.

Ok, I had never been hospitalized before. What did I know?

I spent eight days laying on my right side-flat, which produced the best oxygen readings.  Flat on my right side, 24/7.
 
Realize all of my adult life, I was a multi-tasker. Running a busy practice.... Running a business.... Working as a Medical Director.... Husband and raising three boys into men.... Cooking and wine tasting.... And recently I took up gardening and boating, weaving those into the hours I had in a week. The idea of lying down in my bed for even 30 minutes during the day would be my biggest nightmare.

Yet here I was, lying flat for 200 consecutive hours. This wasn't a bad dream;  it was torture.

There were a few exceptions. I could sit up to eat. But that dropped my oxygen so it had to be done quickly. One day physical therapy visited and stood me up. To achieve that, they had to crank my high flow oxygen even higher. I had one quick sponge bath. No shower, no shaving, no reading, no TV, and no visitors. My only view was of the nurse’s call button on the rail next to my face.

I knew that position was the only way my oxygen number would stay in the 90’s, allowing the nurses to try to wean the high flow oxygen from the 100% they started me on to the 30% goal-- when they could convert me from high flow to regular low flow.  They had mentioned if they couldn't wean me in two weeks, I may be transferred to a "higher level of care". I knew what that meant-- the ICU for possible intubation.

To keep from going crazy, I tried to think of as many bad doctor jokes as I could ...you know, like-

“I’m sorry,” said the doctor to his patient. “You have Covid.  We must quarantine you, and you’ll only be fed sliced cheese and bologna.”

“Will that cure me?” the patient asked.

“Well, no,” the doctor replied, “but it’s the only food that will fit under the door.”

OR

“Doctor, there’s a patient in room one who says he’s invisible.”

“Well, tell him I can’t see him right now.”

OR

How did the doctor cure the invisible man?

He took him to the ICU.

That took up about half hour before I realized I’d rather be hallucinating than thinking up bad jokes.

By day eight, they finally managed to wean me from high flow to low flow, but I was still confined to lying flat on the right side position. On day nine, they tried to sit me up. My numbers held in the 90’s. Not only could I read, eat, and watch TV from a sitting up position, but also they said they were sending me home. There were too many people in the ER as sick as I was the week earlier with no beds available. My Italian guilt took over as I realized I was glad there were enough sick people to force them to kick me out of my prison.
 
That leads to the third unexpected experience being home.

I imagined sitting on the couch watching Netflix, catching up on my medical reading, chatting on the phone with friends and family, and being back to normal in a week or so.

You can stop grinning now.

I was still on 24/7 oxygen, so my nurse/wife Mary was in charge of the slow steady wean. I am still on oxygen now, so I learned this will be a long-term project.

I was given exercises to help build up my strength. Problem is they drop my oxygen numbers plus they exhaust me. I need to use an incentive spirometer every 10-15 minutes to expand my lungs.

So I found recovering from Covid pneumonia is a lot of work. I should have believed my doctors who warned me to measure my recovery month to month, not week to week.

Yet as I recover, I find myself wanting to resume previous activities. When I was first came home, I told my staff I was retiring from blogging. Yet three weeks later, I know I want to go back to some sense of normalcy.

Believe me, writing this blog today is much more therapeutic for me than you.

One of our patients in Laguna Beach is the glass blower from the Sawdust Festival. 

He isn't going to believe the special commission I have for him this summer.

I just need to empty out a bottle of Kahlua.
 
Gregg DeNicola MD
Chief Medical Officer
Caduceus Medical Group, PDQ Urgent Care and More, PDQ Telehealth 
 
P.S.  It is an understatement to say I am overwhelmed by the hundreds of cards, emails, and calls from our amazing patients and skilled staff wishing me healing. I tried answering everyone personally, then realized it was an impossible goal.

Reading these well wishes was stronger healing than the Remdesivir. I am truly humbled. Reading them made me realize I have had a career blessed by the heavens and the very best patients in the universe. Believe me the love goes both ways.
 
Remember to get tested with ANY symptoms and stay home as much as possible. I have been asked where I contracted Covid and I am sure it was from some asymptomatic person I came in contact with at work. I was still seeing patients in the office four days a week and masks are only 80-95% effective. It was a matter of time that a Covid particle sneaked around the masks we were wearing.

In retrospect, I should have stayed home doing video visits only when the numbers exploded after Thanksgiving. Do not repeat my mistake.

Caduceus will not be receiving the vaccine soon, so make best efforts to get vaccinated where you can. If you have had Covid, we advise a monthly antibody test through 2021.

We are now researching what a 2021 check up should entail and will be publishing that in a future blog.


CMO Covid Corner

By editor
September 27, 2020

URGENT ALERT-

As CMO I want to report to our patients a dramatic upswing in POSITIVE Covid19 PCR cases.

After seeing a drifting downward of new cases between late August and early September, we are experiencing large numbers of new cases similar to our dark days of April.  We are in the middle of another surge.

I cannot speak for numbers put out for LA or Orange County now. This alert is based on OUR swab results in the last week.  About 33% of our new cases are without symptoms. Those with symptoms have become very ill, very fast. Average age is 35, with most cases between 20-40.

We have noted good response to Budesonide and Decadron given early, so I encourage being tested immediately for ANY Covid symptoms, especially:

-Fever
-Fatigue
-Loss of taste/smell
-Nausea/diarrhea
-Muscle aches
-Upper or lower respiratory symptoms including sinus pain and sore throat

We want to keep our patients out of the hospital and prevent the horror stories that have become common with Covid infections, even in younger patients.

The current siege started on September 21st, exactly 14 days after the Labor Day activities we were concerned about. Recall the incubation period for Covid is 14 days. Many of our new cases trace their contact to that weekend, others to the recently reopened restaurants, gyms, and salons. One common denominator--none of our new cases suspected their contacts were contagious.  Because no one knew they were.

We DO NOT advocate more closures.
We DO advocate more testing.

CADUCEUS and PDQ URGENT CARE AND MORE NOW OFFER NO OUT OF POCKET COST PCR SWAB COVID TESTING WITH A 48 HOUR RESULT TIME (with valid insurance).

Of course the physician order is via a telehealth video visit from your home, and the swab is curbside from your car. We have reasonable cash prices if you are uninsured.

We have worked hard to arrange this service for you, please consider taking advantage of it.

If you test PCR positive -STAY HOME AND QUARANTINE!
If you are antibody negative, STAY HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

Understandably, the new siege has stressed our systems, and we are adapting. You can help us by--

-Avoid the phones, use email or LIVE CHAT instead, available from the home page of our website or app.
-Use our telehealth platform, if appropriate, in lieu of office visits or walking in.
-Keep your appointments, and let us know if you must cancel or no show. This makes room for more patients.

We are all weary of the masks, the X's on the floor, the elbow bumps, and the binge watching on the couch.

We will beat this.

But it requires you to:

KNOW IF YOU'RE CONTAGIOUS
KNOW IF YOU'RE IMMUNE

Our lifestyles, and lives, depend on it.

Gregg DeNicola MD
Chief Medical Officer


Covid 19 Coronavirus September Updates- The Hard Facts on Our Progress in Orange County

By editor
September 4, 2020

CMO Covid Corner


A quick visit to the archives for a new take on an old TV show…
 
Who can you trust for Covid-19 advice?
 
Not WHO
Nor FDA
Nor even the CDC blog...
 
Just little ol' us...
We're UNDERDOG!
 
At Caduceus, we are used to being an underdog. Our entire annual revenue would possibly fit in Kaiser’s petty cash fund.  Mammoth health "systems" in Orange County, like Providence and Memorial, are comparable to Costco’s size next to our little boutique practice.  And the government agencies in the above rhyme have billion dollar budgets with some of the greatest health care minds in the world.
 
Yet here we are in month nine of the worst pandemic in our lifetime, and no end in sight. Perhaps it’s time to listen to the “Underdog.”
 
Let’s look at what our prodigious health agencies have told us so far. FYI, all the data we publish forth comes from their own websites or newsletters.
 
WHO-
The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations. It is funded by its members. The top three financial contributors?

-The USA
-Bill Gates
-The UK

Despite it ravaging Asia and then Europe, the WHO did not proclaim Covid-19 a pandemic until March 11. We started curbside testing for flu and strep in February, and added Covid-19 tests on March 12.
 
They have not advised universal testing, only those with symptoms or close contacts.
They advise stopping a quarantine on a swab-positive case once symptoms have resolved.
They determined a positive swab without symptoms can be due to "prolonged viral shedding.”
They have told employers they "may" want to require a negative test before people return to work after infection. 

On April 24, they told the public that antibody tests showed no evidence of immunity. They now have reversed course on that position.

On June 7, they did not advise routine mask wearing. On June 8, they changed their position.

And what has their advice accomplished? Almost 300.000 NEW cases a day worldwide now, compared with fewer than 100,000 at the end of May. Perhaps tighter controls are in order?
 
FDA-
The Food and Drug Administration is a truly bipartisan part of the Federal Government, yet empowered through Congress. So, they both have their fingerprints on the crime scene here.

Let’s see…Plaquenil. It was given emergency approval for Covid-19 in March. In June, they revoked it. Now they say they won’t approve it, but a doctor is approved to use it in the hospital or a clinical trial setting. Keep in mind that once the FDA approves any drug for ANY condition, ANY doctor may use that drug for another indication "off label,” it’s done daily on thousands of drugs. It is not "illegal" to use Plaquenil for Covid-19. But trying to follow the FDA advice is like playing Whac-A-Mole.  
 
Let’s look at the Abbott "rapid test" for Covid-19...it was given emergency use authorization in the spring.  Then several academic centers found "adverse events” (translation-bad mistakes) with the test informing thousands of patients they were Covid negative when they were actually positive.Yet the FDA approval stood. They simply put out a "warning" of the high degree of false negatives.

And now, they have just approved a new "quickie" Abbott test, coming out in October with a better false negative rate. Ummm…according to Abbott....no academic center has tested it yet.  And the FDA still approved it. 

And the result?  Only PCR swab tests have data with acceptable false negative rates. FDA approval of "antigen" tests (i.e. quickie tests) have exposed thousands of Americans to Covid-19 unknowingly.

On the flip side, thousands of Covid-19 patients have improved with drugs such as Decadron, with no FDA approval
At least right now, FDA approval--or lack of it---appears to be of little importance.
 
CDC-
The Centers for Disease Control is a federal agency. If you want to trace how Covid-19 became out of control in the US, we can start here. The first confirmed case in the US was January 20.  Yet the CDC delayed widespread testing for over a month. Worse, CDC tests were found to be faulty, and investigations show the CDC did not follow their own protocols regarding pandemics. 

And although Caduceus was the first to start testing for Covid-19 in Orange County, we had to wait until March 12 because the CDC had not made tests available to the health care community until that date. It would be April before the testing was available to the general public. And even then, everyone was running out of tests. This debacle lay in the hands of the CDC.

This was definitely a pandemic prior to March 11. 

A US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) investigation into the COVID-19 testing crisis is under way.
But that isn’t all; the CDC admitted they inflated results by combining IgM antibody results with positive PCR swabs. 
Even now, they admit they were wrong to not advise testing close contacts of known Covid-19 patients with no symptoms, and now do advise it...four months too late.

They also discourage a test of cure (re-swab) after a Covid-19 infection. It is easier to have a Michelin restaurant allow substitutions than have the CDC advise us to test.  And we shouldn't forget the CDC website told us in the spring to only wear masks if social distancing was not possible.

And what has our federal agency designed to protect us accomplished? 
New cases in US March 30-19,000 
New cases in US August 30- 44,000. 

How is minimizing universal testing working out for you?
 
How about the White House Task Force---headed by Dr Fauci, under President Trump?
 
On February 29, WE WERE TOLD "NO NEED TO CHANGE WHAT WE ARE DOING" in regards to the large wave approaching. He has also flip flopped on the travel ban (first against it, then for it). He first spoke of masks being optional, and then changed his mind. The lockdown? First for it, then against it.  More flip flops than Labor Day in Laguna Beach. 
But this is truly a bipartisan gaffe; both Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden downplayed the upcoming carnage in February when we needed a strong push to test from all of our leaders. 
 
We must mention our own Orange County Health Department leader Nichole Quick was forced to resign after death threats when she put out a mandatory mask order.  Her replacement understandably reversed the order. The job doesn’t pay enough to risk an execution.

When the state also passed a mandatory mask order, the Orange County Sheriff said he would refuse to enforce it.
Our own OC Health Department is calling our patients telling them no need to retest after an infection. As recently as last week, other health departments through the state are doing the same thing.

And Governor Newsom locking down, reopening, and then locking down again-without advising mandatory testing? 

How effective are our state leaders in getting this under control?
New cases in California March 25- 471
New cases August 25- 6,004

More testing anyone?
 
At Caduceus, we have been consistent with our message from Day One.

*Know if your contagious (PCR Swab) 
*Know if your immune (Antibody blood test)
*If your positive strictly quarantine until PCR swab is negative (Average 14 days) 
*Get tested bimonthly, or monthly depending on your risk and activity level

 
-Keep in mind the main three methods of transmission:
 1. Respiratory secretions (Wear a mask)
 2. Close contact with the virus (Social distance)
 3. Crowds (Hunker at home, avoid gatherings)
 
If our leaders had put forth--and enforced--such measures, our transmission rate would have plunged and lockdowns would have been unnecessary.

A few other facts...
Would reviewing Avian Flu help us with Covid-19?
This influenza is spread from infected birds, not bats. And does not wreak the havoc Covid-19 does. No help here.
 
How have airlines dealt with Covid-19?
Some block middle seats. Most require masks. Some upgraded their disinfecting policy. Most stopped serving meals. So far, little effect on the rate of Covid-19 spread has been noted. Nothing here to assist us either.
 
Is there an association between frogs and Covid-19? According to Ethos, a famed vet blog, It is neither considered likely that Covid-19 will be found in frogs nor as a cause of disease, nor that frogs function as a reservoir that allows spread to humans.

So, for extra credit, can we actually use Wally Cox's monologue from the famed cartoon to adjourn?
 
Sure, easy:
Where can we best find Covid-19 advice?
 
Not bird
Nor plane
Nor even frog

Just little ol' us
Heh Heh 
Underdog.
 
Gregg DeNicola MD
Chief Medical Officer
Caduceus Medical Group


Testing Testing 1-2-3

By editor
July 16, 2020

COVID 19...Testing…Testing...Testing… 1-2-3    
 
For my fellow baseball fans, this is a good time to recall the beloved Yogi Berra who told a post-game interviewer after a bad loss...
 
"We made too many wrong mistakes."
 
That sums up my viewpoint on our response to the Covid pandemic, both nationally and here in California. I have been purposely apolitical during the crises, and deflected blame, preferring to look ahead, not behind. Yet it is clear Yogi is right---both political parties have made too many wrong mistakes. 

If our elected leaders had pushed for universal testing early on (as we have advocated) many of the lockdowns and closures could have been avoided. 

We have been dealing with the nightmare that is Covid for four months, although it feels like four years. And in those four short months, we are learning so much every day.  When I look back and see what little we understood last St. Patrick’s Day, and then look at our current state-of-the-art, what we have mastered bears sharing here.
 
What I read on social media and here on mainstream media is so misleading, it’s actually frightening.

  • The swabs are part of a conspiracy to pay the hospitals more and are being falsified.
  • The antibody tests are inaccurate and IgG does not give you immunity.
  • Someone sent a swab dipped in a cup of coffee and it came out positive.
  • Only get tested if you are deathly ill.
  • Get tested daily to be safe. 
  • Someone's uncle can arrange for a swab to come back in two hours for $1500 cash.

Schiznick. All of it. 
Let’s deal with the bare facts.
 
If you follow Caduceus and PDQ you know our mantra... TEST.TEST.TEST.
and our slogan…

KNOW IF YOU’RE CONTAGIOUS
KNOW IF YOUR IMMUNE
 
CONTAGIOUS?  DO I HAVE COVID?
To find out if you are contagious or infected, you need a test for the virus. The gold standard is the PCR Swab.Things are changing there. At first, it was a long skinny wire that doubled as a brain biopsy. In the last six weeks, the labs are giving us a shorter swab, with equal accuracy. It is NOT just a Q-tip, its fibers pick up more mucosa and the virus is now known to reside primarily in the lower part of the nostrils. 
 
The problem is time. A finite number of testing machines are in play.  With the recent huge demand, swabs must wait their turn. So a 3-5 day wait has morphed into a 7- 10 day wait for results. For some people, that simply is too long.
 
Enter the newer "quickie" tests. Some are self-serve. Some use oral swabbing. Some do not need a doctor’s order. Many urgent cares offer them, as do the drive-up centers sponsored by local governments and large companies like CVS. And the results can be same day or one day. One catch----way too many (IMO) false negatives. Up to 20 % in some trials. These tests may be acceptable if the airline or your job just wants a negative test, and you feel great. But if you want to KNOW you REALLY are negative, I advise against the quickie tests. 
 
The companies that sell the quickie tests even warn you to repeat all negative quickie swabs with the PCR--which will take 7-10 days. So the only people who really benefit from the quickie tests are those that feel great but the airline, Hawaii, or job wants a test that was done in the last three days.  If you hear about a new test that is very accurate and results take less than a day, avoid it. That test does not yet exist.

IMMUNE? 

To find out if you are immune, you need the antibody test. For both IgM and IgG. 

IgM=you've had it. 

IgG=you’re immune.

IgM comes first, about 4-12 weeks after you are infected. It does NOT confer immunity.

IgG DOES confer immunity, but takes months to turn positive. We do not know how long the IgG stays on to protect you.  Maybe three months. Maybe three years. IgG from SARS 1 (in 2002) only hung around 4-6 months. The hope is your IgG will protect you until early 2021 when a vaccine is available.
 
So why do people on social and mainstream media keep insisting they are not accurate? If you are one of them and read this, PLEASE send me your source. If they aren't accurate I need to know NOW!!  Because all respected data says IgG confers Covid immunity.

Our tests come from labs in the USA. They are ready the same day. Almost no false positives and about 5% false negatives. Uses a finger stick.

We will soon announce we have obtained for our patients a newer more sensitive, moderate/high complexity, laboratory grade antibody test.  It is not necessarily more accurate, but does pick up the antibody earlier. 
 
We have had one patient IgG positive and then swabbed positive, but he had swabbed positive a month earlier. So far no one has been IgG positive and THEN contracted Covid. Not only in our practice, but in the literature. Again -if you read of anyone IgG positive later contracting Covid, please email me; that would be big news to the medical community. Good news...so far ALL of our Covid positive patients eventually turn antibody positive, confirming the accuracy.
 
Caduceus Medical Group/PDQ Urgent Care and More strives to be the best partner we can be to our loyal patients. We are honored to be helping blaze the trail in providing the newest and most accurate tests available. Soon, we will offer two types of antibody-(quickie/accurate and overnight/more accurate.) We are planning to offer two types of diagnostic swabs...both the PCR (very accurate, seven day turnaround) as well as a type of quickie (one day turnaround, less accurate).
 
As far as who needs what, and how often, here are the current Caduceus guidelines:
 

  • You have never had it, and no symptoms- do both swab and antibody.  We advise repeating monthly (no video visit required for repeat testing) if you are working, going out, or traveling.  It is less essential for regular testing if you are homebound. 
  • You recently swabbed positive for Covid---retest weekly until clear.  Then test monthly for antibody until IgG positive.
  • IgM positive, IgG negative...test monthly until IgG positive.
  • IgG positive…test every three months to ensure immunity. Stop when vaccine available. 

 
What about the posts stating "only test if you have symptoms?"  
 
Hooey. Poppycock. Horsefeathers.
 
Caduceus/PDQ does NOT require symptoms to be tested. We advocate EVERYONE should know if they are contagious and immune. By frequent testing, we will all know just that.
 
Why? 

How did China, Spain, New Zealand, Denmark finally reopen? Bingo! Universal testing. 

In some provinces of China, the government went door-to-door offering free tests. 

Denmark had a policy to test every willing citizen at no charge--and THEN offered them a digital "passport" to show they were free of the virus as of the date of their test. This was used to allow travel, certain jobs, and general reassurance of friends and family. 

And Spain? This is a quote from an article from Reuters on APRIL 6---at the peak of the high death rate:  "Spain is planning to widen coronavirus testing to include people without symptoms as a first step towards slowly easing a lockdown in the nation with the second highest death toll from the global pandemic." Guess what happened to the number of cases? Exactly!
 
Recently, with employers and traveling requiring swabs, we are finding up to 30% of our positive swabs show NO symptoms. So to require symptoms to be tested is missing a large reservoir of contagious people. It is a common-and deadly policy.
 
Our diligent staff work tirelessly to commit to our patients we will not run out of either swabs or antibody tests, and will test curbside daily as many people that can squeezed into one day. We do not require only Caduceus patients to be tested by us. We gladly swab all people, even from Kaiser, St. Jude, St. Joes, Memorial Care, and Hoag. 

How do we keep acquiring enough tests to have done this for four months now?

Sometimes it involves putting unmarked bills in a paper bag behind the palm tree in exchange for enough swabs...well ok, not exactly (but close to it). It shouldn't be that hard. Whatever the cost to produce adequate testing, it is less expensive than the devastation of closing down our economy.
 
Covid testing is definitely not a profit center. But -as Spike Lee would say—“it’s doing the right thing.”
 
Only by universal testing, and REPEAT testing, can we begin to tame this fast moving, lung eating, deadly virus. 
 
CONCLUSIONS 

  • If you know you are contagious, strictly quarantine yourself until you are documented not contagious.
  • If you are not immune, avoid close contacts, confined spaces, and crowds. (And wear masks, wash hands…the whole bit)
  • Staunchly consider putting yourself and your family (and workplace) on a monthly testing program until the numbers fall, or a vaccine is approved. Even….no wait...ESPECIALLY if you have no symptoms! 
  • When testing, avoid "quickie" tests and sacrifice speed for the best accuracy available.
  • If you have tested positive for Covid, or are IgM positive, antibody test monthly until your IgG becomes positive. It will.

Be aware of the massive demand for testing as cases surge. Expect a delay for a video visit, results of swabs, as well as phones and chat lines. We pledge to offer all of our patients daily video visits and curbside testing. No one will be turned away, which may intensify the delay. We thank you in advance for your understanding. 

KNOW IF YOU’RE CONTAGIOUS
KNOW IF YOU'RE IMMUNE


Let’s conclude with one more Yogi wisdom. One day at Shea stadium, streakers ran naked across the outfield. The reporters later asked Yogi (who was managing the Mets that day) if they were male or female streakers. With a puzzled look, Yogi answered....

 “I don’t know. They had bags over their heads.” 

Don't wear a bag over your head. 

Get tested.

Gregg Denicola MD
Chief Medical Officer 
Caduceus Medical Group

To make an appointment for a video visit from your phone for Covid-19 diagnostic swab and/or antibody or any other urgent or non-urgent medical needs including your annual physical, please email our appointments team at videovisits@caduceusmedicalgroup.com.
 
If you own a business and are interested in more information about our on-site corporate Covid-19 testing program for your employees, please email us at support@caduceusmedicalgroup.com.


Covid Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Updates for Orange County

By editor
July 7, 2020

We have been pushing the mantra of--

Know if you’re contagious

Know if you’re immune 

Test. Test. Test. 

We are all aware of the large spike in new Covid cases recently. This has created a unprecedented demand for the PCR swab test.

We continue to do these curbside on a near daily basis. That will not change during the current crisis.

However the labs we use -such as Lab Corp and Quest have informed us that due to this large demand results may be delayed a few days. Where we were receiving results in 2 or 3 days , we are being told to expect a 3 to 5 business day turnaround and sometimes up to a week.

That is understandable since there’s a finite number of machines but a large increase in the number of tests.

I advise all of our patients who undergo swabbing with symptoms to stay isolated until the results are back.

Additionally, we have been researching the so-called “quick swabs” which give results in under 24 hours. The sad fact is I cannot justify the high number of false negatives associated with the quick test.

Therefore Caduceus and PDQ will not be offering the test until we can be assured of a better accuracy rate. We would discourage our patients from seeking or taking the test, as tempting as it is to have a quicker answer.

Gregg DeNicola MD, Chief Medical officer