March 12, 2020
Update on the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the respiratory illness COVID 19: Incubation period and rationale for 14 days of Quarantine
A recent study out of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Schools of Public Health has estimated the median incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 to be 5.1 days with a range of 4.5 to 5.8 days (95% confidence interval). The study suggests that 97.5% of the people who will develop symptoms do so within 11.5 days of infection with a range of 8.2 to 15.6 days. This means, as the authors calculated, that 101 out of every 10 000 cases of COVID 19 will develop symptoms after the 14 days. From our standpoint at the Weill Cornell MS Center, we will recommend a period of self-quarantine that assures people are completely past the period of being contagious. As the authors conclude: “Our results support current proposals for the length of quarantine or active monitoring of persons potentially exposed to SARS-CoV-2, although longer monitoring periods might be justified in extreme cases.” A link to the original article: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32150748-the-incubation-period-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-from-publicly-reported-confirmed-cases-estimation-and-application/
For patients scheduled or planning to visit the Weill Cornell MS Center to receive care, and for those family members or friends accompanying them, it is extremely important that you contact us ahead of time if you have had a suspected or known exposure to the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). We will then determine if you should self-quarantine, and for how long. We will make sure you get the care you need. For many of our patients, visits and infusions can be rescheduled without any compromise to your care and well-being. We are also capable of performing scheduled video visits and this requires you to be signed up with MyChart: https://mychart.weill.cornell.edu/mychart/
Why is it important not to come to the MS Center if you have a SARS-CoV-2 exposure until we have cleared you? The reason for this is that we have many patients who are at various degrees of immune suppression and most, but not all, of the treatments our patients our taking, result in some level of immune compromise. We anticipate that COVID 19 will be more severe in people who are immune suppressed. Therefor in an effort to protect you as well as all of our patients, we want to do everything possible to prevent exposure. As always, we will make sure that everyone gets the best care possible.
Dr Tim Vartanian and Staff at the Weill Cornell MS Center