Coronavirus Information from Dr. Hilary Babcock


Hi, I’m Dr. Hilary Babcock. I’m an
infectious disease specialist with Washington University and BJC HealthCare.
And I’m here today to share some information about coronavirus so a
couple of basic facts about coronaviruses. There are some coronaviruses
that circulate in the population every year in the United States, but over the
last 20 years, several new coronaviruses have emerged. The first one was the SARS
virus, next the MERS virus, and now this new novel coronavirus that emerged in
China a few months ago. This virus causes a respiratory illness among patients
that are affected and it can cause mild symptoms or more severe symptoms, and in
some cases, can even be fatal — though usually in people who are already ill or
have underlying health conditions. In the United States, there have only been a few
cases of coronavirus infection and most of them in patients that have traveled
back from areas with higher rates of cases and your risk of getting influenza
or some other respiratory virus is much higher than your risk of getting coronavirus.
BJC has been working hard to be sure that all of our facilities are
prepared to identify and isolate and care for any patient that might have an
infection with this new coronavirus. We have provided signage at all of our
entry points for patients to be sure that anyone who is at risk for infection
identifies themselves so that we can check them out and be sure that they are
well. Patients that are seen in our hospital that might have this infection
will be managed together with infection prevention and infectious diseases, so if
you have concerns about coronavirus infection for yourself or for a family
member, it’s important to reach out to your health care provider to get your
questions answered.