- As COVID-19 spreads in Italy and new cases are reported in the EU/EAC, the ECDC has released a hospital checklist to ensure preparedness for patient management.
- The ECDC has also updated the EU COVID-19 case definition.
- The CDC warns about the need to prepare for a US pandemic and community spread.
- No currently approved treatment is available, but US-based Moderna Therapeutics has developed and shipped a mRNA-123 COVID-19 vaccine to NIH.
- A phase 1 clinical trial is slated for early April.
Why this matters
- Take travel history at all general clinical visits.
- Ensure familiarity with ECDC management strategy for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- Cases are rapidly spreading in Italy and other EU/EAC countries and the UK, but patient "zero" has not been identified.
- Health care personnel and clinicians with possible exposure should self-monitor for respiratory signs/symptoms to 14 days from exposure date.
- ECDC urges hospitals to:
- Establish a core management team comprising hospital infection-control staff and infectious disease, ICU, and emergency room experts (with backups).
- Assign key internal, external contacts (with backups) to handle other clinical/nonclinical essentials.
- Procure, buffer, and stock necessary supplies.
- Create patient-placement procedures (e.g., triage, first contact, prioritization, isolation, moving patients within facilities, visitor access).