Health professionals prepare for potential local cases of novel coronavirus

Posted: Updated:

Health professionals are preparing for any potential local cases of the novel coronavirus.

The World Health Organization says the infectious disease has sickened hundreds of people in China. NYU Langone Health in Sunset Park is looking out for any signs that may be connected to the disease.

Pulmonologist Boris Sagalovich says the disease started at a market in Wuhan, China—a city of about 12 million people. It is actually a disease common in snakes but was transmitted to humans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are screening passengers coming from that part of China at major airports, including John F. Kennedy International Airport.

So far, the World Health Organization says there have been more than 500 cases and at least 17 deaths.

Only one case has been reported in the United States, a 30-year-old man in the state of Washington.

At NYU Langone, when patients arrive with symptoms such as fever, chill, or a cough—the nurse or doctor may ask for travel history to determine if it could possibly be novel coronavirus.

The New York City Health Department reports that right now the risk of novel coronavirus is low.

Doctors tell News 12 emergency rooms are prepared to take in any patients that may show symptoms. As for treatment, they say there isn't a specific medication, but that anyone who is sick should stay away from others to prevent spreading the virus.

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