Chattanooga doctors stay on top of the coronavirus

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Infectious disease specialists in the Chattanooga area are educating people about the coronavirus.

Hospitals in Chattanooga are staying on top of the coronavirus.

“This happens to be a new coronavirus that has been identified in China and has the potential to cause significant illness in adults,” said Dr. Jay Sizemore, the medical director of infection prevention at Erlanger.

The first case of it in the United States was announced earlier this week in Washington state.
The CDC released guidelines for how hospitals should react to patients who might have the coronavirus.

“So part of that screening process is a travel history and if someone has a travel history to Wuhan, China and has respiratory track symptoms, we would need to respond accordingly and isolate that person to try to prevent secondary spread to other people,” Dr. Sizemore said.

There are signs to look out for.

“So the primary symptoms are fever and then respiratory tract symptoms, 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and so it can really be nondescript especially when we are in the midst of flu season. So the exposure history of either travel or exposure to someone who has either been identified as having that particular coronavirus or who is a person under investigation for that coronavirus we would need to isolate that person immediately,” Dr. Sizemore said.

Doctors say people can take certain measures to protect themselves.

“Ways to prevent transmission of the virus is good hand hygiene. That goes for any viruses, especially this time of year,” Dr. Sizemore said.

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