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WTVA 9 News Coronavirus Town Hall

Credit: WTVA ABC Tupelo, MS
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WTVA 9 News Coronavirus Town Hall
WTVA 9 News Coronavirus Town Hall
March 17, 2020

First, i want to introduce doctor h-f mason.

>> thank you for joining us for this first, i want to introduce doctor h-f mason.

Wtva 9news cs town hall.

I'm craig ford.

For the next 30 minutes we're going to answer some of your questions.

Answer some basic questions that you and others may have concerning the corona virus.

Obviously the world has changed dramatically in the past few weeks.

And some folks now that we've had some of the recent developments with public areas being restricted, schools being closed, a lot of folks may be paying more first, i want to introduce attee corona virus than doctor h-f mason.

When this first may have come on.

He is the chief medical officer we want for baptist memorial to introdue hospital -- union county.

He's also the hospital's chief n of surgery.

Who is the chief doctor mason attended medical l school at the university of ofr for baptist memorial mississippi and completed his .

Residency at vanderbilt dr. mason university.

Attended medical school at our final introduction is doctof cameron huxford.

Mississippi completed his he is with o-c-h regional medical center in starkville.

Doctor huxford is a pulmonologist, meaning that his residency at vanderbilt university.

Thank you so much.

We'll start basic here.

What is corona virus and why can it be so specialty is lung disease.


>> corona virus -- there is and that's where this virus cana family do some real damage.

Of human corona viruses that affects humans obviously.

There are four that basically cause the common cold.

Most of the time when you get a common cold it will be one of those four types of corona viruses.

Over the past few years there has been development of more serious corona viruses.

When the sars outbreak happened.

When we had the middle eastern respiratory corona virus causing those problems in the middle east.

This corona virus that we're seeing is called a novel corona virus.

Novel means new.

It's a corona virus that we haven't seen before.

Most of the time how that happens it usually is with a corona virus that has normally infected animals and it mutates so that it can jump and transfer and infect humans.

That's what happened with corona virus the novel corona virus, the sickness is covid-19.

Corona virus disease 2019 because that's when it was first picked up in china.

The vast majority of people, 80% who get infected with the corona virus they are going to have mild symptoms. maybe like a cold.

Maybe like a bad cold, flu like symptoms, fever, body aches.

For 15% of the people it's going to be more serious.

People who are at higher risk, older people, people who have chronic medical conditions, chronic heart disease, chronic lung disease it can be more problematic for them.

For about 5% it can be very serious and it can be lethal.

The most dangerous thing about this virus is just currently we don't know a lot about it.

We're learning a lot more about it every day which is good.

But until we know more, it is dangerous.

>> so again we're starting basic here.

Let's start with the symptoms. what are they spending time.

>> the symptoms can range from very mild to severe.

They can be just like symptoms with the flu or a cold.

Fever, body aches, it can progress to difficulty breathing and shortness of breath.

And the spectrum is very wide.

Children and adolescents may have minimal if any symptoms. older people can have severe life threatening where they can't breathe at all and need to go to the emergency department.

>> if you think you have it, these symptoms show up, what should you do?

>> first of all, if you think you have it, don't panic.

Stay calm.

That's the first message we like to tell everybody.

The first thing you should do if you think you have it is call your doctor and tell them hey i'm concerned that i might have the corona virus.

They are going to ask you some questions and based on the cdc guidelines, some of the questions they are going to ask, are you having flu like symptoms, fiver fever, body ache, cough.

I forth to mention cough.

It's not a productive cough.

It's more a dry hacking cough.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms. you have travelled to any of the category three countries listed on the cdc website.

And i highly recommend people look at the cdc's website.

Is there i wealth of information there.

Those current countries right now are listed as china, korea, iran and mostly all of europe and uk.

Have you travelled to those countries?

Have you been around anybody who has had the corona virus.

If you answer no they may just tell you to stay home, monitor your symptoms and let us know if you get worse f.

You answer yes they may ask to you come in and get screened.

>> we will get more questions for you momentarily.

Right >> we welcome you back.

I'm craig ford.

Let get to a viewer question.

What is the process once someone has been diagnosed with a virus.

>> most of the time it depends on your symptoms. as i said earlier for the vast majority of people the symptoms are going to be mild.

What we recommend you do is you stay home and you self-isolate.

There is a difference between quarantine and isolate.

Isolate is when somebody is sick, removing them from other people.

Quarantine is when you stay away to see if they developful worse symptoms call.

You may need to go to the emergency.

>> who should be in quarantine and who goes to the hospital?

>> if you think you have the corona virus, i recommend you call your physician.

Once you are diagnosed with the corona virus your physician or if you happen to have gone to the er, they will make that judgment, that clinical judgment and say that you might be able to go home which you should.

Most people will be able to go home and remain at home.

Should you have serious symptoms of shortness of breath, should they measure your oxygen saturation and it be low, they may recommend you be admitted to the hospital for closer observation.

>> let's talk about testing.

We've heard a lot of discussion about that.

Can you go to the hospital, can anybody go to the hospital and get tested?

Are there anymore limitations or what?

>> there are limitations.

We recommend if you think you might have corona virus call your physician.

If you don't have a physician you can go to baptist online dot org slash corona virus.

We have an 844 number that you can call and we can put you in contact with a physician.

Call your physician, they will ask you questions.

Based on that they will recommend you be tested.

Your primary care physician.

Most commercial labs , the clinics around the area are up and running and they are doing testing.

And each lab has a different process for collecting the specimen and your healthcare provider should be able to test you.

>> it's it's a swab.

You swab the back of your throat.

They take a nasal swab as well.

>> they have to go a long way to get that?

>> it's important to get a good test.

It sure is.

>> since you mentioned flu, do i have a question for you about the flu.

Specifically about the flu vaccine.

Will the flu vaccine help offset the corona virus, will it lesson the case if the person gets the virus?

>> no.

The flu virus a and b and corona virus are two different types of viruses.

So having the flu vaccine is not going to help you with the corona virus.

However, there still is a lot of flu going around.

We are still seeing a lot of flu.

We still recommend that you get the flu vaccine.

>> we'll take another quick break.

>> thank you for joining us.

I'm craig ford joined by dr. mason here to answer questions that we have, you may have concerning the corona virus.

How is this virus transmitted.

I've heard a lot of different things about this?

>> primarily it's transmitted by respiratory droplets.

When you cough or sneeze the virus gets in the water particles that you cough out.

It's aerosolized and you breathe it or it gets in contact with your mucous membranes.

>> what about surfaces?

>> when you cough or sneeze, some of those droplets can get on surfaces.

If you touch those surfaces and you touch your mouth or eyes or nose, you can get the virus that way.

Hand hygiene is so important.

Washing your hands properly.

Using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Don't rub your eyes, nose or mouth.

Things that our mothers out the mothers taughtu.s. when we were.

Don't be around people who have flu like symptoms. if you have symptoms, don't be around people.

>> any idea why the virus so contagious?

>> that's a good question.

I will admit i'm not a virologist.

I don't know all the behaviors of viruses.

Each virus has an r factor.

If it has an r factor of one, that means somebody who has the virus will infect one other person.

I've seen different numbers.

But maybe for the novel corona virus it may be around between 2 and 3.

I think flu may be between one and two.

I don't know those if i can yours exactly.

>>> it's a little more than the flu.

To give you perspective, the measles has an r factor of 15.

We've heard about how older folks are more susceptible to being harmed by this virus.

May seem like a no brain tore you or other folks.

Why them?

Why they would be more likely to suffer or die?

>> people with co-morbidities, they are likely to have serious issues.

I think the correlation most of the older population are the ones that have these chronic conditions.

We have seen across the country, we have seen younger people with chronic medical conditions who have gotten seriously ill.

>> what exactly are people dying from?

I think i heard somebody say that virus gets deep in your lungs?

>> it can attack your lungs.

It causes interstitial pneumonia.

If people have chest x-rays or ct scans, it can show that.

But a lot of times it's what happens is it's the super infection, the super pneumonia that you get.

People can get flu or corona virus, they get the lung issues.

But they get a super imposed bacterial pneumonia on top of it and that is fate toll and leads to end stage organ disease an sepsis and death at times.

>> do want to share another viewer question.

I would be shocked if you've not been asked this question.

One of our viewers wants to know are others overreacting or are we not reacting enough?

>> i think that's a great question.

It's it's a question we don't exactly know the answer to.

Dr. fauci from the institutes of health, we've seen him on the tv, i've grown to really enjoy watching him, because he's what i call a straight shooter, i heard him say that if you think you are overreacting, you are probably doing the right thing.

At the end of the day we would much rather say that we overreacted rather than saying we didn't react enough.

And i know we don't have a lot of there is not a lot of hockey around here, but he said when we're looking at this, you always want to skate to where the puck is going not where the puck has been.

We're trying to get ahead >> thanks for joining us for our corona virus town hall.

I'm craig ford joined by baptist memorial hospital union county doctor mason.

We're going to go through some of the other viewer questions.

Our next one what are the affects of the corona virus on pregnant women or do we know?

>> at this point i don't think we know for sure.

As to my knowledge, i don't think that there are any harmful effects that we know of.

I'll leave it at that because i'm not sure.

>> i think people may not be aware but because this is so new there is some research but not a lot?

>> that's true.

We're learning more and more every day but there is a lot we don't know.

>> another question, what do healthcare professionals need to wear to protect themselves from the virus?

I'll ask you, if somebody comes in at baptist?

>> we have protocols at our hospital.

And we've been working on these protocols for a couple of months.

If somebody comes in with any type of ili, flu like illness, cough, fever, body aches, we are immediately putting a mask on them and then we are asking them further questions.

Based on the cdc.

Are you having those symptoms, have you travelled to these areas, have you been around anybody who has had covid-19.

If that's the case then we have protocols we put on ppe, personal protective equipment.

That would include a mask, an n95 mask which is a special mask that helps prevent the virus particles from entering from penetrating the mask.

Eye protection, gowns and gloves.

And then we are immediately taking patients to one of our isolation rooms in the emergency department.

It's a negative pressure room.

By negative pressure when you open the door everything gets sucked into the room as opposed to positive pressure and everything getting blown out.

>> there has been debate about masks.

You mentioned about wearing masks.

I'm assuming your position would be like everything else we've heard it's not going to help anybody.

>> i don't think wearing a mask out in public is going to help you.

Obviously if you are around a high risk person, if you are taking care of a high risk person, yes, a mask -- i say a high risk person, a person infected, yes a mask will help you.

>> here is one that i got hit with.

So i go to the gas station, i want to fill up my car.

Do i need to wear a glove when i pick up the pump?

Do i need a covering on my hand, should i grab it, fill it up, clean my hand or what?

>> that's a good question.

I think that's going to be a different answer for every person.

Some people will have more comfort wearing gloves.

Personally once i filled my car up, do i carry hand sanitizer liquid bottle with me.

Do i clean my hands and get back in my car.

>> that was what i was going to hit you up with one of the things i wanted to ask you what are you doing, what is your family doing to deal with all of this.

>> i have two children at home right now who are not at school.

Use proper hand hygiene, don't be around sick people if you are sick yourself.

Be smart.

We are hearing about social distancing now.

We're six feet apart here which is good.

But i think that it's not going to hurt us to pay attention and listen to what the experts are telling us.

It's going to be painful for a while and it's totally disrupting our way of life.

This is something we have to do and i think we need to be serious about it.

>> we are at the end of our broadcast.

It's been very informative for me and hopefully you.

I want to thank dr. mason.

You have really provided insight for us.

We appreciate you taking time out of your day and thank you for trusting us with our coverage of the corona

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