How would Chicago respond should the coronavirus spread further?

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CHICAGO — How would Chicago respond should the coronavirus spread further? Wednesday local and federal leaders, as well as experts in medicine, weighed in.

Rush University Medical Center was one of 35 hospitals in the U.S. designated as an ebola treatment center six years ago.

Tiffany Wiksten is a manager of Infection Prevention and Control at Rush University Medical Center, says they are prepared.

She said that specialized training makes them experts in treating and containing coronavirus.

“Ebola was that wakeup call things could cross the ocean,” Wiksten said. “And we have to be prepared for them what do we want to prepare for next.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also weighed in.

“We have extremely well thought out, well planned responses in the event that the virus appears again in anyone else in Chicago,” she said.

While the city stands at the ready, experts said the average American shouldn't panic.

Yet many are worried.

Surgical masks sold out at drugstores and pharmacies across the country.

Some retailers are raising the price of masks on sites like Amazon.

Doctors said there's no need to wear them here right now, with no new cases in Illinois, but if you're going to buy them, be sure to get the right one.

“The N-95 masks filter out smaller particles airborne viruses are smaller particles than a regular mask,” Wiksten said. “N-95 you should be fit tested for it.”

Meanwhile, the federal government is discussing increasing funding to battle the coronavirus.

Democrats want $8.5 billion.

“I support this request for a dramatic increase in funding now before it spreads across the US which, God forbid it ever does,” Sen. Dick Durbin said.

Doctors said testing supplies, training staff and using resources for mobile treatment for patients to be seen and tested in their homes make up a big portion of the funding needed to prepare for a potential pandemic.

 

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