CORONAVIRUS

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What to do if you feel coronavirus symptoms or suspect another person of having them

There are no reported cases of coronavirus in Southwest Florida but all Lee Health and Bayfront Hospitals are equipped with isolation rooms if there is a need to separate a patient, but that shouldn’t be the first place you go.

What if you think you have more than just a cold? The symptoms of the virus are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions may also be emailed to [email protected]. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

The first thing any doctor will want to know is all the symptoms you are feeling—and then maybe the most important question they are going to ask you is if you have recently traveled or encountered anyone who has. Especially if it is abroad or to one of the areas affected by the virus.

“How long have you been sick? What is it like? Have you done any recent travel? Obviously, if anyone’s traveled to a country that’s experiencing a lot of the coronavirus… That’s going to initiate a lot of concern and they’re probably going to isolate those people very quickly,” said FGCU P.A Program Director, Robert Hawkes.

If a patient is diagnosed with the virus they will be taken immediately to a hospital and placed in an isolation room. The isolation room is a confined space that will have recirculated air so it doesn’t go to the rest of the hospital.

Patients will remain in those rooms for about 2 weeks.

At the end, patients will be retested and released if the results come back negative.

We spoke with a physicians assistant at an Urgent Care who tells us who is at risk.

“The very young and very old are ages that are at risk. For people who have chronic illnesses or autoimmune diseases or the immunocompromised, I would think that you were at a higher risk for getting the coronavirus and maybe you should just go to the ER to get checked at that point,” said Angelina Sakyi-Agyekum, PA-C Clinical Manager at Coastal Med Urgent Care.

We also asked Urgent Care employees what their protocol is if you believe somebody has the coronavirus. They told us they would immediately contact the Center for Disease Control and they would take it from there.

IF YOU FEEL SICK:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions may also be emailed to [email protected]. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

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Reporter:Nicole Lauren
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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