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02/18/2020 HYU News > HOT Issue

Title

Professor Kang Bo-seung Prevented an Emergency Room Infection of the Novel Coronavirus

Kang's decision led to the appropriate quarantine measures for Patient No. 17

Global News Team

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http://www.hanyang.ac.kr/surl/xojHB

Contents
Professor Kang Bo-seung from the Department of Emergency Medicine demonstrated excellent judgment by stopping the infection of the novel coronavirus within the emergency room.

Patient 17, upon recently returning back to Korea from Singapore, checked into Hanyang University Guri Hospital after showing symptoms of fever on the 26th of last month. At the time, the screening clinic in front of the hospital sent the patient to the emergency room. As long as patients have not visited China, they were not considered as possible patients of the new coronavirus.

Professor Kang, in charge of grouping the patients in front of the emergency room, suspected that patient 17 had the new coronavirus, calling the 1339 Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Call Center. However, the answer from the center was that because Singapore was not considered a danger area, the patient was not qualified to be examined for the new coronavirus. 

Despite that fact, Professor Kang did not stop questioning the patient and conducted a second examination interview, learning that patient 17 had made close contact with some people from China during the conference in Singapore. Professor Kang mentioned at an interview with Yonhapnews that, "I was aware of the fact that many citizens of Wuhan had already moved to Shanghai," also adding that "I began to suspect that the patient had the new coronavirus infection after hearing that he met many Chinese that came from Shanghai." In the end, Professor Kang relocated patient 17 to a negative pressure room, instead of the emergency room.

On that day, patient 17 left the hospital and the negative pressure room because the individual had not come from the danger area. Afterward, patient 17 was informed that there was another patient with a definite diagnosis among the Singapore conference, had visited the screening clinic on the 4th, and was confirmed to have the disease on the 5th. It was a dangerous circumstance that could have resulted in the spread of disease if patient 17 were hospitalized in the emergency room. During the MERS incident of 2015, there was in fact a case where a super spreader infected 81 people within the emergency room, leading to the closing of Samsung Medical Center from June 14 to July 20, 2015.

Because of this reason, health authorities have stipulated, with a doctor's supporting opinion, that it is possible to suspect patients of having the new coronavirus. Moreover, as patients from third countries continue to appear, they have also specified that people can be examined when they have related symptoms after 14 days of coming back from countries that are under the influence of this epidemic, under the discretion of a doctor. 


Global News Team
Translated by: Lee Wonyoung
global@hanyang.ac.kr
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