DMHS plans to respond to corona virus
Drew Memorial Health System released a press release addressing the Coronavirus in our community and to assure the public that our health system is ready to address the virus if it comes to town. Printed below is the full release.
“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 two 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.”Recent ads on social media are fueling fear surrounding the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Awareness of this virus, and any other contagious illness such as the flu, is imperative to helping slow down and stop the spread, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic hygiene, such as hand washing and staying home when sick, is more effective at preventing the virus than using facemasks. Some alarming ads on social media are giving false information on prevention and illegitimate cures.
“It is important to remain vigilant when avoiding any contagious illness, but some misinformation surrounding Coronavirus is causing undue panic and fraudsters are taking advantage of that fear,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said. “Like any scam, don’t buy into this hysteria and get your facts from the experts.”
The Arkansas Department of Health has activated an incident command center that has the authority to conduct testing and issue quarantine orders as necessary. The ADH updates information regarding tests performed and any positive cases in Arkansas on its website healthy.arkansas.gov.
Under President Trump, the U.S. Government is using its full resources to protect the health and safety of all Americans. Proactive measures have been taken such as travel restrictions, early containment strategies and the creation of the Coronavirus Task Force.
Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General encouraged people to stop buying masks because they do not prevent the general public from catching the virus. However, the absence of masks could keep healthcare workers, who are in contact with numerous viral infections, from getting the protection they need.
For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the Coronavirus, visit the CDC’s website at CDC.gov/COVID19.