HONOLULU (KHON2) — A Japanese visitor to Hawaii tested positive for coronavirus (2019-CoV) last week. He stayed in Waikiki and on Maui during the ending of January and beginning of February.
Since the incident, doctors KHON spoke to say they haven’t gotten any new directions from the Hawaii Department of Health on how they screen patients for the virus.
The way the screening process goes at Doctors of Waikiki is, they will usually check temperature, heart rate and blood pressure first.
“Taking your blood pressure. Taking your heart rate. Taking your temperature, those are important because those are very critical information we need,” said Dr. Alan Wu, Doctors of Waikiki CEO and Co-founder. “If your [temperature is] elevated, you most likely have an infection going on.”
A high fever combined with coughing can be signs of the flue or coronavirus. Either way, the doctors aren’t taking any chances.
“We as health care providers do not want to be patients,” said Wu. “Personal protection, wearing proper gowns and wearing gloves and masks are required for our workers here to make sure that we don’t contract any type of viral illness.”
Since viruses like the flu and coronavirus are both similar, there are a list of questions that doctors have to ask to figure out which it is.
Most of these questions are travel-related. These questions include if you traveled to China or if you’ve had contact with anybody who traveled to that part of the world.
In light of the incident with the Japanese tourist, Doctors of Hawaii have also added additional screening questions.
“We do ask about travel history, not just to China itself, but into Asia as a whole now too,” said Wu. “Because you could have been affected by another individual who is in a different country so those are important questionnaires to ask.”
If you believe that you may have the flu or coronavirus Wu recommends contacting your doctor to schedule an appointment to your doctors office. This will save you the wait and it will help prevent exposure to other patients.