January 24 coronavirus news

3 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:03 p.m. ET, January 23, 2020

Medical workers in Wuhan are exhausted

Speaking to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, medical workers in Wuhan -- the city of 11 million people at the center of the coronavirus outbreak -- have described an incredibly intense environment, where they must balance dealing with the overload of patients and suspected patients while also keeping themselves safe.

A nurse at Jinyintan Hospital
A nurse at Jinyintan Hospital

"Today, I heard one of my colleagues say that she has got blisters on her face," Wang Jun, a nurse at Jinyintan Hospital, told the broadcaster. "It happened because she had to keep the face mask on tight for a long time."

Wang described the laborious process nurses undergo to enter hygienic areas:

"We need to remove the protective suit layer by layer. First, we need to disinfect our hands before taking off the face shield. Hand disinfection is actually required before we remove each layer. Then, we would take off the protective suit from top to bottom, one layer at a time with hand disinfection performed. After that, we would come outside to remove the shoe covers, the cap and the mask, disinfect our hands again, and come here to wash our hands before entering the potentially contaminated area. Then, we have to get changed into our own clothes to walk into the hygienic area."

Another nurse, Fan Li, said that she often goes a whole shift without being able to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water.

"I would drink some water before my shift, and wait till the end of my shift to drink water again or use the toilet," she said. "We can't do either of those things in the wards."

They also have to deal with the potential of being infected themselves -- or simply succumbing to exhaustion.

"Many of my friends and colleagues called me yesterday and asked if I'm alright," Fan said. "It was quite touching. They said the medical staff of the Jinyintan Hospital are the greatest as we work on the front line. I feel very moved." 

8:31 p.m. ET, January 23, 2020

China allocates 1 billion yuan ($144 million) to fight the virus

China is allocating 1 billion yuan ($144 million) to combat the deadly Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. 

A statement released by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday said the money will "support virus control work in Hubei province," where Wuhan is located.

It did not specify how the funds will be spent.

8:45 p.m. ET, January 23, 2020

43 people under observation in Washington after close contact with first US coronavirus patient

From CNN's Jen Christensen and Gina Yu

Washington state health officials confirmed Thursday that they have been reaching out to 43 people considered "close contacts" of the 30-year-old man who was the first confirmed case of coronavirus diagnosed in the United States.

The Snohomish County resident, who has not been named, identified people that he has interacted with since returning from Wuhan, China, and officials said that number could grow. Local health departments are reaching out to those contacts.  

"It is pretty common for communicable disease patients. The more you talk to the individual the more you learn," said Dr. Kathy Lofy, the Chief Science Officer at the Washington state Department of Health.

The department defined "close contacts" as anyone who interacted with the patient and came within 3 to 6 feet (1-2 meters) of the infected person, for a prolonged period of time while infectious or had direct contact with his secretions.

Health officials have not identified who those individuals are, but did say that the patient would have come in contact with the people in a community setting or the health care setting. 

On Wednesday, health officials said these "close contacts" will be called daily and actively monitored for signs of any illness. They will be asked if they have a fever or cough and will ask about other potential symptoms. 

Lofy said that the department has had some calls about other suspected cases that are under investigation. The department has been communicating with health care providers to follow up about patients who have traveled to China or had respiratory illnesses. 

Lofy said that the confirmed coronavirus patient is in "satisfactory condition." He is in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center.