On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, announced the confirmation of a second case of the coronavirus in the US.
A woman in Chicago, reportedly in her 60s, has been hospitalized, having been confirmed as having contracted the virus. The woman had recently traveled to the Wuhan province in China, having flown back to Illinois in the US on January 13th. Officials stated that the woman was not showing as symptomatic on her journey back to the states.
This was the second confirmed case of the coronavirus in the US, with the first reported to involve a man in his 30s. That individual had also been to the Wuhan province in China, and officials reported he fell ill during his return to Washington state, his home in the US. Even though medical experts said he is recovering, as of Friday, he has remained hospitalized in Everett, Washington, at Providence Regional Medical Center.
US health officials are working diligently in the steps they are taken to minimize or even possibly stop the spread of the illness within our borders. Included in the measures they are implementing are in-depth screening of any passengers who enter the US, having traveled to China. If deemed necessary, said individuals are being quarantined, and in cases that the need arises, individuals that have been confirmed to have the virus are being isolated on the spot.
When the first confirmed case of the coronavirus arrived at the hospital in Everett, Washington, the staff was more than prepared to handle the situation. The Everett hospital, along with hospitals all across the US, are routinely holding drills to prepare them for just these types of possible infectious diseases.
The head of the infectious disease program located at Providence Regional Medical Center, Dr. George Diaz, said: “We had just practiced for housing a patient with the Ebola virus." The hospital felt they were well prepared, as the coronavirus is in no manner as deadly and fatal as the Ebola virus can be.
The drills seemed to have paid off well, as the hospital's health care staff were able to quickly relocate the coronavirus patient into an isolation room. As an extra added precaution, the number of staff members that were permitted in the isolation room was severely limited, with the hospital making use of a robot to perform the exam remotely.
The hospital also stated that there were 43 additional individuals, who had come into contact with the isolated patient, that were being closely monitored. They are not currently quarantined themselves but were instructed to watch for symptoms and take their temperatures on a daily basis.
Will the protocols put into place keep health officials ahead of the virus?