Local emergency departments seeing surge in patients who fear they have coronavirus

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) – There are no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Colorado, but local emergency rooms are seeing a surge in patients coming in with cold symptoms, worried that they have the virus. 

Altogether, HealthONE emergency departments are seeing 50 to 100 cases like this per day.

Dr. Steve Quach says even if you do have the new coronavirus, the majority of patients will have symptoms just like a cold. Older people and patients with other health issues could experience more severe symptoms.

So, if you are a healthy young person who has not traveled to an affected area and has not been exposed to someone with the virus, and you get a mild fever and a cough, Quach suggests staying home and taking normal steps. If you start to experience chest pain, chest tightness or shortness of breath, then reach out to a health care provider. 

If you do believe you have coronavirus, doctors say do not just walk into an emergency room or doctor’s office.

“What we would like people to do is call ahead so that we can assess their risk. And if they are high-risk, then be prepared to treat them as well as be prepared to make sure that they go to the right areas, as opposed to into a crowded waiting room where they could infect somebody else,” Quach said.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says patients with symptoms and a history of travel to an affected area or a known exposure should call their provider.

The CDPHE has established a help line for those with questions : 303-389-1687

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