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What You Need to Know About The Coronavirus

Hospital news | Friday, March 13, 2020

Contact: Karl Hertz

From Emergency Department Physician, Dr. Mark Drumhiller at Memorial Hospital of Converse County:

Recently, coronavirus has been dominating the news cycles as well as the talk around town. So what is it and how can you keep yourself healthy?

Coronavirus is a group of different viruses that have been found that cause illness in humans and some animals. The newest coronavirus, called COVID-19, is the one responsible for the current pandemic. Other members of this group include SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), and common human coronavirus which typically only causes a mild ‘cold like’ infection.

The virus appears to be spread directly from person to person via respiratory droplets and through close contacts. It might also be possible to spread by touching a contaminated item and then touching your mouth or eyes. Those infected are at the highest risk to transmit to others when they have symptoms.

What can you do to help stop the spread of COVID-19?

    • Cover your face when you cough or sneeze
    • Wash your hands frequently [with warm water and soap] and for 20 seconds
    • Avoid touching your face
    • Try to keep at least 6 feet away from others
    • If you are sick, please stay home

Luckily children have largely had few severe infections. Those at the most risk are the elderly and those that have other medical issues like diabetes. Treatment depends on how severe the symptoms are. This is a virus so, unfortunately, antibiotics will not help.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

      • Shortness of Breath
      • Fever
      • Cough

Less common symptoms include headache, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea.

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If patients feel sick and/or have questions about displaying possible symptoms of COVID-19 they should call the MHCC COVID-19 Hotline at (307) 358-7399.

This number is managed by our Emergency Department. The Emergency Department staff will ask the caller a series of questions provided by the CDC and Wyoming Department of Health. If the patient answers “yes” to any two sections of the questionnaire, they will be directed to contact their primary care provider for evaluation and possible testing. Asymptomatic testing is not recommended by the Wyoming Department of Health. The Wyoming Department of Health is the agency which determines if a person is tested or not and manages the resulting of any tests and the management of any positive results.

We care greatly about the health and wellbeing of our patients and communities. Please contact the Hospital or Public Health Department for concerns about the coronavirus or any health concern you may have.