Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons as well as Dentists and Maxilla Facial Surgeons are probably of all the medical personnel the most exposed and vulnerable to Covid-19 infection. However, with adequate precaution and sensible behaviour, the Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons have managed to carry on practising throughout the last eighteen months.
In South-Africa very few of the Surgeons became very ill from Covid, although a host of them actually contracted the disease.
By enlarge, at the peak of the surges, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons only performed essential operations such as head and neck cancers, airway emergencies, abscesses, acute otitis media, acute Mastoiditis, complicated sinusitis etc. However, after the third wave, which hopefully would be the worst wave seeing that a lot of people have now been vaccinated and / or have had the disease or has been exposed to it, some immunity would be evident.
From a symptomatic point of view, a lot of patients presented to their doctors with reports of anosmia or smell sensation reduction or taste reduction. This has been added by the WHO to the official list of Covid-19 symptoms, especially the anosmia has been prevalent in between 30% to 70% of all cases.
A lot of patients also present with a sore throat which then have to be differentiated from other ear, nose and throat diseases.
Although children are not as a rule very ill, they do transmit the disease and therefore should be examined in the same fashion as adults are.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic is an extraordinary challenge for the medical community, the virus has also expanded into communities in many countries of the world. Each patient, in which Covid status cannot be confirmed, should be managed as positive.
Even in many countries where the pandemic is busy slowing down and medical practises can adapt to a new form of normalities, this background thought should not be discarded at this point in time at least.