The risk for coronavirus in Sheridan is low at this time.
But Dr. John Addlesperger, who’s chief medical officer at Sheridan Memorial Hospital, said the situation is evolving.
A handful of novel coronavirus cases have been reported in the United States, according to the Wyoming Department of Health, and the origins of the disease appear to be linked to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China.
Dr. Addlesperger said the symptoms of coronavirus are the same as those for the flu or a bad cold – fever, cough, shortness of breath. He said travel history to Wuhan for someone exhibiting those symptoms is critical to think about.
Barb Hespen, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, said people come in to the hospital all the time with those symptoms.
Hespen said the hospital has received guidance from Wyoming’s Department of Health on what to do if a patient is suspected of having the disease. She said if that happened, Sheridan Memorial’s lab would be in contact right away with a Department of Health epidemiologist.
Dr. Addlesperger said specimens have to be shipped to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for diagnosis, but the hospital doesn’t wait for the diagnosis. He said if a patient should come to the hospital with symptoms and has been to China, that person would immediately be treated as if he or she has coronavirus.
People who think they might have been exposed to coronavirus are advised to contact their healthcare providers immediately.