Local hospital systems are prepared to treat Coronavirus

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. & MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - There are an estimated 80,000 cases of Coronavirus across the world according to the CDC.

With no confirmed cases of the virus in West Virginia or Ohio, what should people do to avoid a possible contraction with the disease?

Officials at local hospitals are prepared in case patients come in with concerns that they have the virus.

Some symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, vomiting, and a fever. It is important to tell your doctor about those symptoms as fast as possible.

"The symptoms can range from mild symptoms like a common cold, to more severe symptoms like pneumonia, and even involving death," said Dr. Francis Wadskier, Infectious Disease Specialist for Memorial Health Systems. "Whenever someone is presenting with initial symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, and fever, they should seek medical attention early."

Memorial Health Systems in Ohio has technology available for patients who want to contact their doctors or nurses just from their own home.

"Currently, if you do have concerns, you do not necessarily have to present to a hospital or urgent care location," said Tyler Hill, Medical Director of Emergency and Urgent Care Services at Memorial Health Systems. "You can utilize our nurse call line, or our tele-medicine app, which again is called the Memorial Care Now app, which you can download from the app store on any of your mobile devices.”

WVU Medicine also has a protocol in place that they have begun to enforce.

They are not just screening for symptoms, but there are other factors they want patients to be prepared for.

"We screen patients already," says Dr. Kathryn Moffett, Infectious Disease Specialist at WVU Medicine. "We're screening people for travel, for risk factors, and for symptoms. We also are letting people know that if they have questions or concerned that they have Coronavirus, to call first, and then we can meet them and then get the patient into isolation, and get them tested and evaluated properly."

While doctors are available for assistance at any time, it is important to know how to avoid contracting the virus.

"One of the most important things is hand-washing," says Dr. Wadskier. "So, with water and soap, for at least 20 seconds. If water and soap is not available use any type of alcohol-based hygiene product.”

Neither hospital system has received any calls from concerned patients about the virus, but they are always on alert.