LMH Health is working with local and state health agencies related to a potential case of novel coronavirus. The outbreak of this new respiratory illness was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and it continues to expand to a growing number of international locations, including the United States.
The hospital received a patient with symptoms of a respiratory illness. Given the patient’s recent travel to Wuhan, procedures are underway to treat the patient while minimizing exposure. These procedures include placing the patient in isolation in a room specially designed for infection prevention. Test results won’t be available for a number of days. LMH Health will advise the public if the CDC confirms or determines this patient is not infected with the coronavirus.
Due to the safety precautions in place, the hospital will remain open to patients and the community.
“As in all cases like this, LMH Health works closely with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department to ensure we are appropriately prepared,” said Russ Johnson, LMH Health president and CEO. “Our initial role was one of surveillance—as the outbreak became apparent, we placed health alerts throughout the hospital and clinics regarding potential exposure in an effort to increase awareness of possible symptoms among travelers from China. Now, our efforts are focused on caring for this patient as we await test results.”
Symptoms of novel coronavirus include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever. Concerned individuals should seek medical help right away, calling ahead to their primary care providers or before going to an emergency room. Patients presenting to LMH Health should call 785-505-4086 before arriving; entry will be through the emergency entrance on Maine Street. If this is a medical emergency, call 911.
“We invest substantial time and energy ensuring we are prepared to handle public health concerns in concert with our partners at the local, state and federal level,” said Dr. Christopher Penn, LMH Health’s board certified physician in infectious disease and internal medicine. “The processes we have in place are intended to keep our providers and community safe, while providing the very best care to those who need us most.”