I-TEAM: Cleveland EMS crews given new directives in wake of deadly coronavirus

2019 Novel Coronavirus (first detected in Wuhan, China) illustration provided by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on texture, partial graphic (AP Images)

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland EMS crews have new orders for handling any patients they encounter that may possibly be infected with the deadly coronavirus, which has exploded into a worldwide health crisis.

New directives were issued to city ambulance crews following a recent call for a patient that had symptoms matching that of the coronavirus.

“I have a student who believes he’s got the coronavirus. He has a cough and a fever. And he did travel to China September 29 and returned January 5," a caller told a 911 dispatcher.

The local hospital treating that particular patient confirmed to the I-TEAM that ultimately he did not have the coronavirus.

However, the incident led to a new policy on how city EMS crews should handle these cases.

The new policy outlines what information the dispatcher should get, what protective gear the paramedics should wear, how the patient should be handled at the scene, how the patient should be taken to the hospital and more.

In fact, there are even guidelines for disinfecting equipment later and for sealing off the cab of an ambulance from the back where a patient is carried.

There have been 565 deaths as a result of the virus so far, all but two of which were in China, with one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong. The number of confirmed cases globally stood at 28,275 as of Thursday, with more than 28,000 of those in China.

Anyone who believes they may have contracted the virus should contact a medical professional.

Continuing coverage, here.

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