Patient tested for coronavirus in Belleville Memorial Hospital

By Bethany Rentfro, Staff Reporter

UPDATE: According to a release Friday evening, the patient tested was not found to have coronavirus.

A patient in a Belleville hospital was tested yesterday for the coronavirus.

Chloe Schobert | @chloscho_art2020

BJC HealthCare hospitals released a statement saying a patient at the Belleville Memorial Hospital has been referred to the Illinois Department of Public Health for testing. 

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There are currently two reported cases of the virus in Illinois, according to an article from the Alton Telegraph. One case was a Chicago-area woman who traveled to China with her husband. 

In a statement released from BJC HealthCare, hospitals in the area have processes in place to screen patients for risk of coronavirus. 

St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency said it is in constant contact with the county’s health department regarding developments and information related to the virus, according to an article released by the Belleville News-Democrat. 

Marsha Wild, a nurse from the St. Clair County Health Department, said in an interview with the Belleville News-Democrat the agency is trying to prevent an outbreak in the area. 

“Prevention efforts are generally not seen,” Wild said. “It looks like we are not doing anything, but we’re very busy. Preventing illness is a huge effort that is so important. It can save lives.”

U.S. officials warned this virus could become a pandemic, meaning it could affect people across multiple continents. 

Symptoms of the coronavirus could be very mild but severe cases include high fever and flu-like symptoms. 

While nearly 3,000 people worldwide have died from the coronavirus, the chances of fatalities in the United States are still relatively low, according to the CDC. 

Staff reporter Bethany Rentfro can be reached via email at [email protected].

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