COVID-19 on the Coast

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With more and more Coronavirus cases popping up in South Mississippi, many people are left wondering what’s next?

News 25’s Kristen Anzuini spoke with an infectious disease specialist today to learn more about this novel virus.

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“Well, we are seeing just the beginning of an epidemic of a common cold virus that has mutated and become more severe.”

Dr. Jesse Penico is an infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport. He is talking about COVID-19. We’ve now seen multiple people test positive for this disease on the Coast and we can soon expect to see even more. “It is going to get much worse. But again, the cast majority of people will come down with mild illnesses and inapparent infections.”

Those at the highest risk of Coronavirus are older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

Dr. Penico says the majority of the patients they’ve seen at Memorial fit that description, but not all of them. “One was just tremendously obese, that kind of obesity causes fatty liver and a dysfunction to the liver, therefore a dysfunction to the immune system and she smoked. She is younger than the national average, but we saw her and figured her out on Monday night.”

If you think you could have the Coronavirus, Memorial Hospital urges you to contact their COVID-19 hotline at 867-5000. “If you are too ill, call our hotline, alert the people in the office or that hospital that you are going to come into that you indeed think you might have it so they can take appropriate precautions so they can prepare to evaluate you.”

For now, wash your hands, try to avoid anyone who might be sick, and practice social distancing.