Physician Practice

Coronavirus and preparing for the worst

Medical Environment Update, April 5, 2020

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By John Palmer

Preparing for a worldwide pandemic, especially when you don’t know how fast it will spread or how serious its consequences will be, is one of the hardest things that healthcare workers do.

As of mid-February, health officials in the United States and around the world were bracing themselves for what may (or may not) become the biggest health pandemic to strike the globe since the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreaks in Hong Kong and Toronto, and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia and the Koreas in 2012.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses made of a wide variety of illnesses, from the common cold to SARS and MERS. They are transmitted from animals to humans, with the SARS outbreak stemming from civet cats and MERS from camels.

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