How US hospitals, CMS, WHO are preparing for coronavirus spread

Gabrielle Masson - Print  | 

The World Health Organization, U.S. hospitals and CMS are all preparing for a national spread of the new coronavirus, a respiratory infection from China that has sickened 31,526 and resulted in 638 deaths. 

Key outbreak updates:

1. WHO will hold a forum Feb. 11-12 to mobilize coronavirus research and innovation. In collaboration with the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness, experts will meet in Geneva to discuss vaccine development and attempt to identify the virus' source. The goal is to accelerate research and medical products needed to minimize the outbreak, while also determining global priorities to guide action.

2. U.S. hospitals are preparing for a national coronavirus spike, STAT reports. Hospitals should review the "four Ss" amid an outbreak — supplies, staff, space and the system that governs them all — according to Paul Biddinger, MD, an ER physician and medical director of emergency preparedness at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital. 

3. CMS issued two advisories to help healthcare facilities prepare for an outbreak in the U.S. Under the Trump administration, CMS has provided information on emergency infection control policies and is urging state survey agencies to conduct facility inspections to ensure compliance.  

4. The Wuhan physician who raised alarm about coronavirus has died from the sickness, NPR reports. Ophthalmologist Li Wenliang's death was confirmed by the hospital treating him Feb. 7. Dr. Wenliang, 34, had been reprimanded in early January by local police for "publishing falsehoods" after he discussed seven cases of a virus similar to SARS.

5. China completed a second coronavirus outbreak hospital Feb. 6, according to Fox News. The 1,500-bed hospital opened days after the first outbreak hospital was constructed in 10 days. Patients with mild symptoms had previously been treated in makeshift centers with rows of cots lining large rooms.  

6. Four U.S. evacuees were hospitalized for coronavirus symptoms, Fox News reports. Three adults and one child who had arrived in San Diego Feb. 5 from China  were hospitalized after showing signs of the illness. 

7. Eight American cruise ship passengers have been diagnosed with coronavirus, NBC News reports. Carnival's Princess Cruises quarantined passengers and crew in Yokohama, Japan, confirming that eight Americans are among 41 newly confirmed cases. 

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