HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — While there have been no cases of the Coronavirus in Connecticut, some of the state’s top healthcare minds want to be prepared for any worst-case scenario.
The Centers for Disease Control is investigating more than 80 cases of coronavirus right now in the United States.
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Experts from across the Hartford HealthCare system say they are prepared to respond to the virus.
Dr. Ajay Kumar, the Executive Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer at Hartford HealthCare assured the public in a press conference Tuesday: “Hartford HealthCare has a long tradition of being prepared and ready for these kind of events. We have faced Ebola and SARS and many other things.”
“Over 400 people have died of this infection thus far since it’s discover in December of 2019.”– Infectious Disease specialist at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Dr. Virginia Bieluch
Coronavirus has infected more than 20,000 people globally as it continues to spread beyond China.
State physicians are running training drills and reviewing protocols. The Hartford Hospital is screening patients for travel history. Experts say some people may show no symptoms, others may show mild symptoms, or may present with severe illness.
Dr. Virginia Bieluch explained the Coronavirus is spread through droplets and causes “respiratory illness manifest(ed) by fever, cough, and difficulty breathing…These droplets occur when an infected patient cough, sneezes or talks and another individual is close to them usually within six feet.”
Since researchers know the genetic material in the virus, they’re are able to test if someone has it. The tests can only be obtained from the CDC and the patient has to go through the State Health Department.
“Many of the patients have been isolated in hospitals. The Center for Disease Control does have guidelines for home isolation if the patient is not that sick.”– Infectious Disease specialist at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Dr. Virginia Bieluch
Patrick Turek, the Director of Emergency Management at Hartford HealthCare explained that Hartford Healthcare will continue to monitor the advancement of the virus and “partner with all of our internal and external partners, and make sure that we provide the best care for all of our patients across the state in this particular event.”
“Unfortunately, we have no treatment at this point in time for the Coronavirus, and that’s a concern,” Dr. Virginia Bieluch said.
Two college students in Connecticut, one from Yale and the other from Wesleyan, were both recently monitored for the virus, but have both tested negative.