Huntsville Hospital says it is prepared to deal with coronavirus

WAAY 31 spoke with doctors who say they already have a system in place if a patient comes in with symptoms

Posted: Jan 27, 2020 7:21 PM

With 5 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the United States, WAAY 31 wanted to see how hospitals in Huntsville are equipped to handle a potential patient with the virus.

Doctors at Huntsville Hospital said while they have not seen patients with coronavirus symptoms, that does not mean they don't have a plan to follow if that changes.

"Coronavirus is a common virus actually," Dr. Ali Hassoun, an infectious disease specialist, said.

Hassoun is also the infection control director at Huntsville Hospital. Usually around this time of year, he and his team are fighting the spread of the flu, but this year they are on the lookout for coronavirus. He said the coronavirus isn't new, but has recently become very concerning.

"We need to be cautious because again more and more information is going to come out, what we'll hear about it and we're going to know more about hopefully within the next few weeks," Hassoun said.

Hassoun said the hospital is fully prepared and knows exactly what to do if a patient walks in with symptoms that resemble the coranivrus.

"The emergency room physicians whose usually the frontline in the management already aware about what to do if they have any suspicion, what's the main symptoms, who to call in Huntsville Hospital and how to contact the local state departments and the CDC," he said.

He said if a patient's symptoms raise a certain level of concern to the point they need to be tested for the virus. They have isolation rooms for the patient to stay in until testing is completed. That can take up to 72 hours.

"It's not like necessarily scary but it's definitely starting to move out towards us," Chip Hightower, who lives in Huntsville, told WAAY 31.

He said he's glad the hospitals are planning ahead, and that he's already taking extra precautions

"Definitely washing my hands more often stuff like that."

Doctors say that this virus is contagious and you can keep yourself safe by just washing your hands staying home if you're sick and not being in close contact with people who are sick.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Lee643066
Baldwin636967
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Franklin198131
Jackson197914
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Blount182723
Chilton178731
Escambia170328
Covington164429
Coffee16299
Dale161551
Pike130112
Tallapoosa126986
Chambers126643
Clarke126116
Marion103929
Butler99640
Barbour9819
Marengo96421
Winston88613
Geneva8297
Pickens79317
Randolph79314
Lawrence78830
Bibb78513
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Clay70312
Lowndes69827
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Henry6286
Monroe6259
Washington62012
Crenshaw58830
Perry5796
Conecuh55413
Wilcox55412
Fayette54012
Macon52819
Cleburne5207
Sumter46421
Lamar4555
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
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Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 228744

Reported Deaths: 2909
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Shelby33996551
Davidson29425325
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Williamson648448
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Wilson431853
Putnam407952
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Dyer199526
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Trousdale17277
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Wayne15537
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Macon125524
Franklin119015
Haywood118325
Roane11696
Overton110611
Carroll108624
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Hawkins108023
Johnson10786
White107014
Marshall10238
Rhea102016
Lake9623
Cheatham95511
Smith93013
Bledsoe9174
Cocke91312
Giles88031
Campbell8497
Fentress8467
Lincoln7942
Crockett75120
Henry73610
Hickman72713
Chester71014
Marion6849
DeKalb66916
Decatur62011
Grainger5264
Grundy5048
Claiborne4926
Union4902
Polk46013
Jackson4155
Morgan4046
Humphreys4024
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Houston37914
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