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Jupiter Medical Center Initiates CDC Guidelines for the Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Coronavirus

JUPITER, Fla., Jan. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Jupiter Medical Center is closely monitoring the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, and has implemented the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of patients who exhibit the symptoms of and/or are diagnosed with the coronavirus.

While the CDC considers the coronavirus a very serious public health threat, there are currently no cases reported in Florida and the risk to the general public is considered low at this time.

"In order to be proactive, cautious and prepared in the eventuality of possible spread to Florida, Jupiter Medical Center has implemented the CDC guidelines for screening, prevention, control, diagnosis, and treatment," said Dr. S. Raymond Golish, Jupiter Medical Center chief safety officer. "Vigilance and awareness are essential."

The coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV has sparked global concerns, although the World Health Organization did not declare the coronavirus to be a global health emergency when it met on January 22 and 23.

According to the CDC guidelines, patients who come to the hospital with fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, will be asked if they had traveled to Wuhan, China, in the 14 days before their symptoms started. If they are a suspected case, the CDC recommends that patients be placed in a private room or airborne infection isolation room, and for local health authorities to be immediately notified. 

Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for coronavirus and no vaccine to prevent it. Symptoms may be mild or severe and may include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Person-to-person spread is occurring, but it is unknown exactly how easily the virus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

While coronavirus is causing global concern, a more common respiratory virus – the flu – poses a greater risk to Florida residents. The state is currently experiencing a moderately severe flu season, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Everyone ages six months and older is urged to get a flu shot each year. Although activity typically peaks between December and February, flu activity can last until May. So far during the 2019-2020 season, the CDC reports there have been 140,000 hospitalizations and 8,200 deaths in the U.S. due to the flu.

"We are keeping a watchful eye on the spread of the novel coronavirus, but the flu is here now," Dr. Golish said. "Flu shots can take up to two weeks to become fully effective. If you're not already vaccinated, it's not too late to get one. We are likely to have more weeks of the flu ahead."

How you can prevent infections

The CDC recommends members of the community take everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of all types of respiratory viruses.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

About Jupiter Medical Center
An independent, not-for-profit, 313-bed regional medical center, Jupiter Medical Center is the first and only hospital in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Dade and Broward counties to receive a five-star rating for patient safety and quality of care – the highest ranking awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The ranking places the hospital in the top 7 percent of the nation's hospitals. In addition, The Leapfrog Group, a national healthcare watchdog organization, recognized Jupiter Medical Center as a Top Hospital and awarded the hospital an "A" in overall patient safety and quality care.

World-class physicians, strategic partnerships, and innovative techniques and technology enable Jupiter Medical Center to provide a broad range of services, with specialty concentrations in neurosciences and stroke care; cardiac and vascular care; oncology; women's and children's services; orthopedics and spine care; urgent care; and other key areas.

Founded in 1979, Jupiter Medical Center has approximately 1,689 team members, 650 physicians, 593 nurses and 640 volunteers. For more information on Jupiter Medical Center, please call (561) 263-2200 or visit jupitermed.com.

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SOURCE Jupiter Medical Center