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Publication Date: May 2020 (Volume 22, Number 5)
CME Credits: 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, 4 ACEP Category I credits, 4 AAFP Prescribed credits, and 4 AOA Category 2-A or 2-B CME credits. CME expires 5/01/2023.
The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and its infection, COVID-19, has quickly become a worldwide threat to health, travel, and commerce. It is essential for emergency clinicians to learn as much as possible about this pandemic to manage the unprecedented burdens on healthcare providers and hospital systems. This review analyzes information from worldwide research and experience on the epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of COVID-19, and offers links to the most reliable and trustworthy resources to help equip healthcare professionals in managing this public health challenge. As the pandemic sweeps the United States, lessons learned from early centers of infection, notably New York and Northern Italy, can help localities to prepare.
Excerpt From This Issue
A 42-year-old man presents to your ED triage area with a high-grade fever (39.6°C [103.3°F]), cough, and fatigue for 1 week. He said that the week prior, he was at an emergency medicine conference in New York City, and took the subway with some people who were coughing excessively. The triage nurses immediately recognize the infectious risk, place a mask on the patient, place him in a negative pressure room, and inform you that the patient is ready to be seen. You wonder what to do with the other 10 individuals who were sitting near the patient while he was waiting to be triaged, and what you should do next... Later in your shift, a steady flow of patients with varying degrees of upper and lower respiratory symptoms arrive. Additionally, there are several “worried well” patients without symptoms, who are requesting testing for COVID-19, based on varying degrees of perceived exposures. What do you tell them? How do you handle the throngs of patients now potentially contaminating higherrisk patients?