Local Doctor Suggests Vigilance, Not Panic, With Coronavirus

The first confirmed case in the U.S. is in Washington state

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A virus responsible for infecting hundreds and killing at least six in Asia has made its way to the United States.

The patient, who is not being named, is in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Washington State.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken action to protect U.S. citizens against the coronavirus.

Screenings are in place at airports in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago for passengers traveling from Wuhan, China.

Passengers traveling from Wuhan will be funneled through one of those five airports prior to arriving at their final destinations.

Dr. Gary Clark, physician at Trusted ER in Hurst, said panic and fear should not be the response right now.

“It’s always good to be concerned. It’s always good to be vigilant. I wouldn’t worry a lot until we had more cases,” Clark said.

The contagious virus was confirmed in a 30-year-old male who arrived into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this month.

Clark said the symptoms start off looking much like a head cold.

“But coronavirus can progress into pneumonia and that can become dangerous,” he said.

The virus is capable of spreading from person to person, and the CDC said more cases of the virus can be expected here in the U.S., especially following the Chinese New Year.

With a heightened sense of awareness, Clark said he’s hopeful that what the United States will not experience what is happening in China -- more than 300 confirmed cases.

“You don’t want to see something spread to a pandemic. But this is not a pandemic,” Clark said.

For anyone with cold symptoms or respiratory problems, Clark said the best course of action is a trip to the doctor or emergency room.

And while we're vigilant about our personal health scientists are doing the same.

“There’s a whole other range of human beings out there on a daily basis who lose sleep trying to make sure that we’re safe all the time,” Clark said. “It’s like a special forces for medicine.”

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