DAVE ROSS

Everett doctor details presence of coronavirus in Washington state

Jan 28, 2020, 11:34 AM | Updated: 5:16 pm
Wuhan virus...
Doctors are still trying to fully understand the spread of the mysterious Wuhan virus. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP)
(Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP)

A Washington state man in his 30s was diagnosed last week with the Wuhan virus, known in official medical circles as a coronavirus. One of five confirmed patients in the U.S., he remains in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.

3 students from UW screened for coronavirus

Dave Ross spoke with Dr. Jay Cook, Chief Medical Officer for the hospital, about the local risk.

The patient in Everett is in stable condition, Dr. Cook confirmed.

“The thing I think that concerns most people is that it’s a new virus,” Dr. Cook said. “It has not, until just very recently, been seen or described.”

The Wuhan virus is part of the coronavirus family, which includes the common cold, the flu, and SARS. This new virus affects the respiratory system.

“Because it’s new and because this has sort of escalated again over a relatively short period of time, I think just this amount of uncertainty is often what fuels fear,” Dr. Cook said.

Chinese health authorities now report that the number of confirmed cases has increased to 4,500, a jump of nearly 60 percent. At least 106 people have died.

Forty-three people in Washington state had close contact with the local patient before health officials diagnosed him.

Dr. Cook says Wuhan virus does not appear to be as contagious as a disease like the measles, but officials are working with limited information.

“We know that if someone walks through a room that has measles, it can be transmitted an hour or two later,” Dr. Cooks said. “So far, this virus does not seem to have that level of risk of infection.

China has quarantined the entire city of Wuhan, and recently extended that quarantine to neighboring towns. Hong Kong has enacted a limit on visitors from mainland China.

“Boy, isn’t that an extraordinary step?” Dr. Cook said. “I’m not aware of any effort that is even remotely of this magnitude to try to quarantine what I’ve read is up to 50 million people. It’s such an extraordinary challenge to do that.”

“It at least sends a signal to me that they believe that this is a serious problem, that they want to try to do what they can to limit its spread,” he added.

The World Health Organization chose not to diagnose the virus as a “global health emergency of international concern” when officials met last week, as the virus still remains mostly contained in China.

What to know about China’s Wuhan coronavirus

“The symptoms you really can’t tell from a common cold, at least early on,” Dr. Cook said. “Chances are, especially if you haven’t traveled to central China over the last couple of weeks, that what you have really is a cold or the flu.”

Because a specialized test for Wuhan virus must be sent to the Centers for Disease Control headquarters in Atlanta, officials are not testing everyone who comes in.

“They’re certainly not recommending testing everyone that just has the sniffles or a sneeze or cough,” Dr. Cook said.

Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett has personnel from the CDC on hand to assist. Everett doctors are also communicating with the CDC’s virus specialist in Atlanta.

They don’t plan to release the patient anytime soon.

“Certainly we’re gonna err on the side of caution, because so little is known about this virus,” Dr. Cook said. “We want to make sure that we keep everyone safe, and when we decide that it’s safe for him to go home, we want to be very confident that the risk to anyone that he may come in contact with is extraordinarily low.”

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) shakes hands with Steven Engel, former Assistant Attorney General for ...
Dave Ross

Ross: Jan. 6 committee hearings reveal just how far Trump leaned on the Justice Department

Donald Trump wanted to send a letter to state officials saying that the Justice Department has identified significant concerns about the outcome of the election in several states, including Georgia.
3 days ago
Blake Lemoine poses for a portrait in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California on Thursday, Ju...
Dave Ross

Ross: Let’s worry about the Google AI’s ethics and discretion, not its soul

Google wants a truly conversational search engine, with immediate real-time access to the sum total of online information.
4 days ago
Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, former Georgia election worker, becomes emotional while testifyin...
Dave Ross

Ross: Let Donald Trump describe a ginger mint as evidence of election fraud under oath

A Ginger Mint. Note, she did not say a hollowed-out Ginger Mint – containing a USB drive, or a roll of microfilm, or the key to a secret safe deposit box – it was a real Ginger Mint. The kind you suck on.
5 days ago
(Mike Mozart via Flickr)...
Dave Ross

Ross: An epiphany about Big Oil while waiting in line at Costco

Since I had to go to Costco anyway, and since I know that they have the cheapest gas, I decided that I would wait in the Costco gas line.
6 days ago
(Associated Press)...
Dave Ross

Ross: Leaked Patriot Front conversations reveal an obsession with media attention

I’ve always wondered what goes through the minds of people who go to the trouble of buying a uniform and a shield and piling into U-Haul to confront people they don’t even know.
7 days ago
An image of former Vice President Mike Pence on the night of January 6, 2021 is displayed during th...
Dave Ross

Ross: Christians put Trump in charge of the country, and then prevented him from destroying it

Ah, the sound of happy Americans – cheering for the betrayal of their Constitution. And if you believe the polling, about 75% of those cheers were coming from conservative Christians.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Everett doctor details presence of coronavirus in Washington state