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Cleveland Clinic ready if Coronavirus strikes

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Posted at 6:25 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 18:25:01-05

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Clinic can't be too careful.

"We, like any other health care center around the country, should always be prepared for these types of possibilities to arise," said Dr. Alan Taege, an infectious disease doctor at Cleveland Clinic.

The Cleveland Clinic is stepping up its screening process for any patient who shows signs of a respiratory infection.

"We're doing what we hope all centers are doing now. When someone presents with a respiratory illness, and other illnesses as well, we ask specifically have you traveled and where to? And of course we're most interested in whether they've traveled to China or not because that will then trigger additional questioning and precautions," Taege said.

Taege says the hospital has contingency plans if the Coronavirus were to make its way to Northeast Ohio.

"The clinic has their protocols in place so that if we have a suspected case or a verified case, we'll have the whole process set up to handle it the it does occur and we're falling the usual guidance of the CDC," he said.

Taege says that protocol includes putting the potential infected patients into quarantine.

"Because of isolation needs, they will typically be housed in one main center so that you have people that are much more aware of how to deal with this on staff in place to take care of it," he said.

He says unfortunately if a local person is infected with the Coronavirus right now, there's not much they can do.

"The most important thing that can be done for patients right now is supportive care. There is no specific treatment for Coronavirus although there is already work on vaccines, there is no vaccine now to our knowledge there is no medication available that's approved for treatment of this virus so it becomes supportive care," said Taege.