Anxiety mounts among U.S. health workers on the front lines of coronavirus outbreak
Mar 2, 20205
Los Angeles Times – Doctors and nurses say they are alarmed by reports that multiple health workers in the United States have been sickened by a deadly coronavirus and that hospitals and other healthcare facilities appear to have become hot spots for the spread of infections.
On Sunday, health officials announced that two staff members at a Northern California hospital had contracted COVID-19 from a patient.
A day earlier, officials said that a health worker at a Seattle nursing home had been hospitalized with the disease and that several more staff members would probably test positive in the coming days.
Medical workers on the front lines of an epidemic often make up a disproportionate number of cases because of their close contact with sick patients and repeated exposure to a virus.
Some hospital staffers say they fear delays in testing for COVID-19 in the U.S. have exposed them to the virus already.
In the United States, the conversations taking place in hospital hallways and clinic break rooms are heightened by the specter of China’s death toll, which includes several medical workers who have died not only of COVID-19 infection but of ailments caused by overwork and fatigue.
One of the most publicized deaths from the global outbreak has been that of Dr. Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old physician who sounded the alarm about sick patients in Wuhan, China, the outbreak’s epicenter.
There are more than 80 reported cases in the United States. Sunday night, officials in Washington state announced that a second person infected with the virus had died: a man in his 70s who lived at a nursing home.
They also reported four new cases, bringing the total in King County to 10. Read more.