DENVER — There are no reported cases of the new coronavirus in Colorado, but Denver Health Medical Center is prepared and equipped if they need to handle one.
The Denver Health biocontainment unit is one of 10 regional facilities in the country that can be activated if necessary.
“We’re not entirely clear whether we need to activate those centers for this type of infection yet. We are ready to do so and we have available protocols to be able to provide experimental treatments,” said Dr. Connie Price, the chief medical officer.
The virus may have spread at a seafood and animal market in China, but it can also be spread person to person, possibly causing pneumonia.
Price says international travelers need to be aware.
“Remain vigilant in keeping up with the alerts and make sure that you know where those areas of concern are in the country that you are visiting,” she said.
The CDC had already announced advanced screenings at airports in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. On Tuesday, they added airports in Atlanta and Chicago.
“As they’re finding more cases, we should expect to see more airports added to that list. So far, Denver is not one of them, but its entirely possible that we may see that, and so we are ready if that should occur,” Price said.
There are no direct flights from Denver to China, but there are direct flights to Japan. That country also has a confirmed case.
Doctors say hand washing is a good preventative measure.