Area hospitals taking extra precautions for coronavirus


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Medical Center hasn’t had any reported coronavirus cases at their hospitals, but they are taking steps now to protect patients in the event there is an outbreak in western Massachusetts.

The coronavirus is scary because its something new and is something we are still trying to understand. There are a lot of questions surrounding the deadly coronavirus. There are no vaccines or proven treatments, and it continues to spread across the world.

It’s infected more than 81,000 people so far and killed more than 2,700 people. There have been 57 reported cases in the U.S, and cities across the country are preparing in the event of an outbreak. Local hospitals like Baystate are still much more concerned about the flu than the coronavirus, but they told us the actions they’d take in the event of an outbreak in western Massachusetts.

“We are educating our staff and providers,” said Dr. Megan Gallagher, Infectious Disease Physician of Baystate Health. “To identify potential cases so they can get appropriate testing when they arrive to make sure any people who are potentially at risk to put into appropriate isolation until we know or not that they do have it.”

Dr. Gallagher told 22News they are also making sure they have enough masks and respirators to protect staff and patients.

“Symptoms of the coronavirus appear to be very similar to the flu; they include a persistent cough, a high fever, and difficulty breathing,” said Dr. Gallagher

Washing your hands frequently and limiting contact with others in public places will help prevent the spread of the flu or the coronavirus.

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