Coronavirus testing Seattle’s infectious disease response

After responding to the first American case of the virus, healthcare workers say they are prepared.

February 18, 2020

It took only weeks for the coronavirus to spread from animal markets in Wuhan to it's first American case in Washington. The experience of healthcare providers in the Puget Sound health system shows how they might handle coronavirus if it were to spread —and how the whole area might fare against future pandemics, according to an article on the Crosscut website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies stress that only people who’ve recently traveled to the Wuhan region or come into close contact with diagnosed patients need to be concerned about coronavirus.

Public health officials still geared up for an active response when the Washington patient was detected. 

When Dr. George Diaz, an infectious disease specialist, found out that the country’s first coronavirus case would be under his care, he was “mostly nervous,” he said in the article. “We had been drilling for [outbreak management] for quite some time, but you never know when it's actually going to happen.” says Diaz. whose hospital had participated in an Ebola response scenario weeks earlier. A team of 10 to 12 nurses had also volunteered to train over the past five years to treat biocontainment cases like this. 

Read the article.




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Topic Area: Infection Control


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