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Mayo Clinic officials delay appointments for certain patients amid Coronavirus outbreak

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- With so much concern and uncertainty surrounding the Cornavirus.

We checked in with Mayo Clinic experts about how well prepared local healthcare systems are should the infection show up here.

Friday afternoon, Mayo Clinic officials said they indeed have a contingency plan in place.

Mayo Clinic Medical Director of Emergency Management Dr. Pritish Tosh.

"This is concerning what was starting as a localized outbreak of a new disease may very well turn into a worldwide pandemic," Mayo Clinic Medical Director of Emergency Management Dr. Pritish Tosh. "Mayo Clinic has been prepared and will continue to be prepared to take care of patients with COVID-19."

Officials from the number one ranked hospital in the world say they are delaying appointments from patients coming from from China and South Korea.

Dr. Tosh said this is in response from what's happening intentionally. "This is in part to prevent spread within our clinic but also within the community."

It's been more than a month since the first case of the coronavirus was found in Wuhan, China, since then health care officials say they've learned a lot.

"We're learning that the disease is more easily transmissible then some of the other coronavirus that proceeded it," Dr. Tosh said.

While the most severe cases are deadly, the vast majority of patients get mild or moderate flu like symptoms.

"The primary disease it is causing is basically pneumonia infection in the lung from there a lot of different things can happen to the body other organs can fail," Dr. Tosh said. "Were to come through the United States we'd be looking at a case fatality rate of about 0.5 percent which is similar to what we saw during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic."

Dr. Tosh said Mayo's approach could change as they learn more. "In the upcoming weeks we will learn more about how it spreads and how quickly it may or may not go throughout the world."

Mayo officials said they cannot comment on individual patients when asked if the clinic had been asked to take any COVID-19 patients. If Mayo gets one, Dr. Tosh said they are ready to treat and not only maintain the safety of that patient, but also the staff and community.

Ubah Ali

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