Patient Safety | 02.04.20
How Prepared Is the U.S. Health System for a Major Coronavirus Outbreak?
Los Angeles Times (01/30/20) Jarvie, Jenny
Public health officials are optimistic about the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC's) ability to monitor and contain a deadly new strain of coronavirus, which is now spreading beyond China. The CDC expects to deploy a system for localized testing by developing a diagnostic test for coronavirus in a kit format. State health departments and public health labs will likely receive these tests in the coming weeks. The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) emergency response arm is assessing the level of preparedness with the Strategic National Stockpile, which includes pharmaceuticals and other necessary medical supplies, says HHS Director Alex Azar. However, emergency room doctors in Atlanta and Los Angeles are already experiencing shortages of N95 masks, observes Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. As a result of funding shortages, hospitals also have low stocks of Tyvek suits and gloves.
Read the full article from the Los Angeles Times.