MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s now an emerging health threat to the world and it’s bringing together doctors at Baptist Hospital in Miami to discuss how they are preparing for the potential of coronavirus in South Florida.
Dr. John Braden says their task force has been active for weeks to get ready for the event, with additional test kits and operational protocol to limit the spread of the virus. They’ve handled outbreaks like H1N1 to Zika and now COVID-19 the disease caused by the coronavirus.READ MORE: Second Suspected Case Of Monkeypox In Broward Under Investigation
Doctors on a panel at the hospital are trying to separate fact from fiction, to keep the public informed about what works and what doesn’t to protect yourself.
“This is a droplet born disease by contact with objects that someone else has touched, the masks in the general public actually provide little help,” said Dr. Braden
COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory condition with a worldwide death rate that now stands at 3%, the vast majority said the doctors will have mild to moderate illness like a dry cough, fever or muscle aches and many may have no symptoms at all. However, doctors acknowledge that those most at risk res present a large swath of Florida’s population, those over 65 or with other underlying health conditions.
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“The ones that really have a chance of developing a problem are with comorbid conditions patients that have other conditions cancer, diabetes,” said Dr. Aileen Marty.
Dr. Marty explained that the best prevention is the same as it is for preventing other infectious agents. Keep surfaces clean, avoid handshaking and personal hygiene that goes beyond just washing your hands.
“That is incredibly important but I mean being attune to what you’re doing with your hands on a regular basis because if you wash your hands then touch a contaminated surface you basically defeated the purpose of having washed your hands so you have to be attuned to what you’re doing each and every moment really if you want to reduce your risk,” she said.
There are currently no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in South Florida.MORE NEWS: Teen Gymnast Reunites With Jackson Health Doctors Who Performed Life Changing Back Surgery
Baptist doctors say if you are ill and believe you have been exposed, anyone is able to be evaluated. However, whether or not you will actually be tested for the virus is up to state health officials.