coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, raised global concerns but, after a two
day meeting, the
World Health Organization issued a
statement saying the situation is not yet an emergency of international concern.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring the situation and will provide updated information as it
In addition, Mayo Clinic continues to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak
and says staff is trained and prepared to care for patients, should the
Dr. Pritish Tosh, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist, says health care providers
need to ask patients with respiratory illness and fever about their recent travel.
"It's important we focus on patients with fever and respiratory
symptoms, not just for the novel coronavirus, but also for other respiratory
viruses that are circulating, such as influenza," says Dr. Tosh.
"Once these patients are identified, they should be given a mask
to wear and put into a room where a health care provider can ask them
about recent travel."
Dr. Tosh adds, "They may have been to a part of the Middle East where
there is ongoing MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) infections. They
may also have been in Wuhan, China, or been close to someone who has been
The coronavirus is in the same family of viruses as
SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and
Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites with Dr. Tosh are in the downloads
at the end of the post. Please "Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network."
"We learned a lot from the 2014 Ebola outbreak as well as subsequent
MERS outbreaks in how we prepare a hospital," says Dr. Tosh."We've
moved from a system of putting together new processes for every new infection
that comes up to a more robust, forward-facing approach that focuses on
The number of infections that can exist are innumerable and the number
of ways they can present are equally vast. What a hospital has to do is
finite, says Dr. Tosh.
"And, so, we are able to move to a more operational approach that
categorizes infections that we know, but also infections that we don't
know, to find a response based on what we understand about a new disease,"
explains Dr. Tosh.
Mayo Clinic has core teams of nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists,
laboratory medicine staff and many others. "Really we have everyone
who is needed to take care of a patient as well as a designated part of
our hospital with a laboratory, so we can properly take care of these
patients while minimizing the risk to our staff and the rest of the population,"
adds Dr. Tosh.
He reminds people this coronavirus outbreak is a moving target and to take
the numbers with a grain of salt.
"We don't quite yet fully understand the epidemiology," says
Dr. Tosh. "But what we do know is this is a new disease with the
potential to cause severe illness, and we are taking the appropriate steps
to make sure that our health care facility is prepared for it."
"Obviously, those of us in health care, especially at a setting like
Mayo where we have a lot of international patients, we are closely observing
the situation and making appropriate changes to make sure we’re
ready," says Dr. Tosh. "Thankfully, we’ve been preparing
for something like this for a long time, and if we were to see a patient,
I am confident that we’ll be able to handle the situation well."
Novel coronavirus: What is it and how can I protect myself?
Article from the
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/ and can be found