The Latest Report on the Coronavirus: How Video Interpreters Can Help

By David Fetterolf, Stratus Video President

There are now eleven confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the United States. The virus first broke out in Wuhan, a city in central China’s Hubei province. The Chinese government has reported nearly 20,500 confirmed cases. More than 400 people have died. While the virus began in Wuhan, it has spread to several other international cities. In response, the United States has made significant efforts to contain the virus, including evacuations from China and quarantine prior to reentry into the U.S.

The World Health Organization provides helpful insight into the Coronavirus, how it is spread and what health implications are involved. Here are a few fast facts: The Coronavirus causes symptoms of the common cold and other, more serious respiratory problems. The virus is zoonotic in nature, meaning it is transmitted between animals and people. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Severe cases can result in pneumonia, kidney failure and death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone take preventive action to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. Recommended measures include:

  • Avoiding contact with sick people

  • Staying home as much as possible when sick

  • Disinfecting surfaces

  • Washing hands

If you do feel sick with fever and have been to the Hubei province of China or visited with someone who was there recently, the CDC recommends you seek medical care and inform your doctor of any potential exposure when making an appointment.

Stay in the know with the latest tips and information on the Coronavirus from the CDC here.

For healthcare providers, the CDC has compiled a preparedness checklist and recommendations on infection control.

VRI Can Help

To reduce the spread of infection, healthcare facilities can take steps to limit exposure. One way is for providers to consult with patients over video. This enables patients to manage symptoms at home, eliminating the need to come into a healthcare facility. When treating Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients, healthcare providers can add a video remote interpreter (VRI) to telehealth sessions with Stratus Link. This is a vital tool when telehealth patients do not speak English, are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The remote nature of telehealth and VRI services enable people to more easily follow the CDC’s top two recommendations when it comes to preventing the spread of respiratory illness: avoiding contact with sick people and staying home as much as possible when sick.

VRI is also helpful to reduce the spread of infection within the hospital. Patients who need a medical interpreter onsite can access one over video instead of having to bring an interpreter into the room. Having one less body in the room significantly reduces the risk of infection being spread. The VRI device can also be cleaned before and after each use, so healthcare providers can more easily comply with CDC tip number 3: Disinfecting surfaces.

When viruses break out, it is more important than ever to take preventive measures to protect community health and well-being. The use of remote interpreting services helps hospitals reduce the spread of infection. See how easy it is to connect with a video remote interpreter here.

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