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VCU Infectious Disease Specialist Says Hospital Workers Are Safe From Virus

Two people in hazmat suits practice procedures on a training dummy
Staff at VCU are well-prepared to care for coronavirus patients, should the need arise. (Photo courtesy Virginia Commonwealth University)

With the deaths of the head of Wuhan’s Hospital and several clinical workers due to the coronavirus infection, a VCU Health doctor says the hospital is well equipped to deal with this or any other threat.

“It starts from a point of entry, whether it’s a clinic or an emergency department, with appropriate and rapid isolation of a patient at the point of care,” said Dr. Gonzalo Bearman, Chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases at VCU Health.

Bearman told VPM that they would make all stakeholders and health care workers aware of the presence of the case to ensure safe protocols were followed.

“[The patient is brought to] an appropriate room in the hospital, which would be a single-occupant room, negative pressure so that the air does not come out but stays in,” said Bearman.  “And that all personnel taking care of that patient are donning and using the appropriate personal care equipment and understand the importance of hand hygiene.”

Although coronavirus is making headlines, Bearman adds that the flu is a much greater threat in the United States, where tens of thousands die each year due to influenza complications.