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Madison hospitals taking steps to screen for coronavirus

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison hospitals are now screening for coronavirus as the outbreak that began in China continues to spread.

The virus, first identified in Wuhan, China, has spread throughout China and Southeast Asia, with at least one confirmed case in the United States.

UnityPoint Health - Meriter has begun asking screening questions for those with fever, respiratory illness that includes a detailed travel history, according to a spokesperson.

SSM Health has also confirmed they are screening patients for the virus.

UW Health will begin screening patients in the emergency department and urgent care settings for possible exposure to the virus, evaluating them for symptoms like fever and acute respiratory illness and inquiring about any recent travel to China.

Screening will be expanded to other areas, such as clinics, as well.

The hospital has taken precautions and safety measures for patients, visitors and family. Any patient suspected to have contracted the coronavirus would be immediately masked and isolated in a private exam room, according to a statement from the hospital.

UW Health is working closely with state and federal officials on guidelines.

Neither UW Health, SSM Health nor UnityPoint Health - Meriter have identified any cases of coronavirus at this time.

Dan Plutchak

Social Media and Digital Content Manager, 27 News

Andrew Merica

Reporter/Producer, 27 News

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