Forrest General Addresses First Presumptive Positive Case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) During Press Conference
FGH_PresCon_COVID_3-12-20 from Forrest General Hospital on Vimeo.
The first case of COVID-19 in the state was discussed during a press conference Thursday at Forrest General Hospital. The State Department of Health confirmed on Wednesday that a 49-year-old Forrest County male resident had tested positive for the virus.
Rambod Rouhbakhsh, MD, Asst. Director Forrest General Family Medicine Residency Program, reported this Forrest County resident had traveled out of the state and began showing signs of fever, cough and muscle aches upon his return to the state. He presented himself for testing at one of Forrest General’s clinics. Tests, both nasal and oral, were obtained and submitted to the State Lab for testing of the Coronavirus.
Prior to reporting to the clinic, the patient called ahead and was gloved and masked to help prevent the possibility of spread to patients and healthcare workers. The patient was subsequently sent home for self-quarantine.
Late Wednesday, Forrest General Hospital administration was notified by the State Lab that the test was presumptively positive for the Coronavirus and was being sent to the CDC for confirmation.
The patient also traveled with a companion who visited another clinic where the same tests were conducted and submitted.
“We are currently awaiting those test results,” Rouhbakhsh said.
“We want to thank this patient for calling in ahead of time before presenting, and we wish him a speedy recovery,” Rouhbakhsh said. At this time, the patient is reportedly doing well.
Forrest General has currently sent three samples to the State Lab for testing. All three have been negative.
Per the CDC, the symptoms for Coronavirus are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Similarly, typical symptoms of the flu are cough, congestion and fever. For perspective, in 2018, the hospital treated 1,642 flu cases.
“It is far more likely that patients with these symptoms have an illness other than COVID-19,” said Rouhbakhsh. “Nevertheless we were aware that cases would eventually come to our state. We have been preparing for weeks to be ready to care for our patients. We will get through this.
“We are asking the public to rema0in calm. Due to outbreaks overseas and the national attention, supplies for personal protective equipment are in short supply. These are things like masks, gowns and gloves. Due to this short supply, we will be limiting the number of visitors inside our hospitals. Starting today, we will limit one visitor per patient until such time shipment of supplies starts flowing again. We ask for your patience during this time of heightened alert.”
Cutlines: Steven Farrell, MD, Forrest General Chief Medical Officer, left, and Rambod Rouhbakhsh, MD, Asst. Director Forrest General Family Medicine Residency Program, address media questions regarding COVID-19 during a press conference Thursday afternoon at Forrest General Hospital.
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