The United States has begun to feel the effects of the coronavirus epidemic on residents, businesses and education. These effects are expected to continue to expand while scientists have yet to fully understand how the virus affects people.
To help stop the spread of the virus, health experts asked the government to speed up the testing process to identify COVID-19 and help patients get treatments early. But a much faster approach may soon be needed after doctors discovered in Washington, which suffered a severe blow, that some patients died even without developing symptoms of coronavirus infection.
The Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington said that 15 patients recently died of COVID-19 “within hours” without symptoms. The facility is also monitoring dozens of its workers who have been infected, while 55 residents are scheduled for testing.
“It was surprising and shocking for us to see that level of escalation from symptoms to death,” said Life Care Center spokesman Tim Killian.
Life Care is known as the epicenter of the Washington state coronavirus epidemic. Washington reported the second highest number of COVID-19 deaths and cases in the United States, after New York with 142 confirmed cases but zero deaths.
However, Life Care faced challenges to contain the virus. The facility does not have test kits amidst the rapidly growing number of patients, according to the New York Times.
Health experts said that vital care should be prioritized as it primarily serves as a home for the elderly. Older people have a high risk of developing serious complications or even death due to weaker immune systems and pre-existing health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and lung problems.
To help solve the problem, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced that he plans to implement mandatory measures that help keep people separate and reduce the transmission of viruses, according to the New York Times. The decision comes after federal health authorities have reported the spread of the community or infections with no known connection to travel abroad.
“Don’t go to crowded places, think twice before a long plane trip, and for heaven’s sake don’t go on a cruise,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Diseases, told Fox News infectious. “Don’t wait for the community to spread. Now is the time to do social distancing, whether or not it’s spreading in your community.”