Local health, medical professionals discuss coronavirus

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WOOD COUNTY, W.Va.-(WTAP) Local health professionals say the biggest threat from the coronavirus is to people, especially older people, who have conditions ranging from diabetes to COPD to asthma.

"That's where we are seeing the deaths in the United States," says Rebecca Eaton, Director, Clinical Services, Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department. "And it's because of the underlying conditions, not the Coronavirus, it's the Coronavirus with everything else that's going on."

They stress calm. They also avoiding targeting certain groups of people.

"We have enough stress, with just the information about the COVID-19, without adding any other rumors or stigma to the equation," Roger Coffman, Administrator, Washington County Health Department.

At an informational meeting Tuesday at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, medical experts said the number of deaths from COVID-19, so far, is well below those from other recent viruses.

"The only concern is, the transmission is so easy that we're expecting to have a lot of people exposed to the virus," said Dr. Seyoum Bage, Infectious Disease specialist, WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center

The college is taking steps to deal with an outbreak, but it, like the health departments, is also preaching common sense.

"We need soap and water, we need fresh air, we need good nutrition, we need to hydrate ourselves," said Kathy Frum, Chair, Nursing Department, WVU-Parkersburg, "and we need to stay away from sick people. That's the best thing we need to do in the college community."