Doctors Use Robot To Avoid Direct Contact With US Coronavirus Carrier

File image.

Jan 22, 2019

The Guardian – Doctors have been using a robot to treat the first person known to have been admitted to hospital in the US with a new strain of the coronavirus, as part of an effort to prevent the spread of the disease, which has killed at least 17 people in China and infected hundreds more.

The man in his 30s was admitted to the special pathogens unit in a hospital in Everett, Washington, on Monday.

The US citizen had recently returned from a trip to central China and had been diagnosed in Seattle.

Dr George Diaz, the section chief of infectious diseases at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, told the Guardian the patient was in a “satisfactory condition” on Wednesday. He did not give an update on how long the patient would remain in the unit.

Diaz said he had sat outside a window of the patient’s 20ft x 20ft room to operate the robot, which was equipped with a camera, microphone and stethoscope. It is one of many ways the hospital has worked to reduce risk of the virus spreading.

Diaz said the patient was picked up from his home and taken to the hospital by ambulance. He was brought to the isolation unit in an Isopod – a closed gurney – and then allowed to move around inside his room once it was secured.

The virus is thought to have originated around Wuhan, in Hubei province, where more than 540 people have been hospitalized.

The World Health Organization has been considering declaring the growing viral pneumonia outbreak in China to be a public health emergency of international concern.

Symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty breathing have also been reported in Thailand, Japan and South Korea.

Most of those confirmed to have died of the illness had previous medical conditions and were 60 or older, and all were located in China … Read more. 

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