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Drew Memorial Health System Plans to Respond to Coronavirus

As information about this virus is presented in the media and the public becomes more alarmed; we wanted to send out some information to our staff and the general public about Coronavirus (COVID-19). This virus has previously not been identified in humans which makes understanding the full clinical picture difficult. What we do know from the people who have already been infected, is that the clinical course is much like a severe flu.
Healthy people with strong immune systems should expect milder symptoms and quicker recovery. Symptoms include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.
The population of people at risk for more severe impact, including mortality, are those to which we are already aware: the elderly and immunocompromised. With that said, this virus is new which means there is no existing immunity to it. Due to this more people will be infected which leads to mass illness and community impact.
Drew Memorial is constructing a plan on how we will handle a mass influx of patients requiring assessment and treatment. Although our interventions will be similar to that of a patient with the flu, we must prepare for larger numbers of patients that will require care. We want to remind staff to preserve personal protective equipment and practice good hand hygiene. Staff and the general public will be updated as we move forward with plans to care for patients potentially impacted by COVID-19.
It is important that both healthcare professionals, and the general public, be aware of the facts and help people in our community understand this disease and the risks associated to it. Fear and anxiety related to this can cause factual information to be misconstrued. Let’s be diligent of the appropriate precautions, symptoms, and protocols to address this risk.
Media Inquiries:
Heather Harper, Community Outreach Coordinator Scott Barrilleaux, Chief Executive Officer

Wesley is the owner of South Ark Weather, LLC which owns and operates searkweather.com You may contact him at wesley@searkweather.com

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