The First Coronavirus Patient In Kansas Has Been Admitted To KU Hospital, Is 'Doing Well' | KCUR

The First Coronavirus Patient In Kansas Has Been Admitted To KU Hospital, Is 'Doing Well'

Mar 9, 2020

Update: 2:30 p.m. Monday 

Kansas’ single confirmed coronavirus patient has been admitted to the University of Kansas Health Systems hospital.

The Johnson County woman, who was announced to have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Saturday, was admitted to the Kansas City, Kansas, hospital after self-isolating at home.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, KU doctors said the woman, who is under 50 and believed to have contracted the virus in the northeastern United States, is “doing well,” after she and hospital workers followed guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading.

“All of those procedures were followed very well and the patient is currently in a safe area and under strict protocols and procedures and isolation that is all recommended from the CDC,” said infectious disease specialist Dana Hawkinson.

The patient is currently in a “negative air pressure” room, designed to stop the spread of contagions.

A COVID-19 patient whose symptoms warrant hospitalization would likely treated with respiratory care including supplemental oxygen and/or antibacterial treatment, Hawkinson said.

Because there is no way to cure COVID-19, doctors can currently only treat symptoms.

Kansas health officials say they have not yet identified any community spreading.

The patient's family has been under observation for signs of COVID-19, but they have not shown symptoms, according to Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

People who are experiencing symptoms – which include fever, coughing and shortness of breath – should contact their local health department. Most cases of the new coronavirus are mild, and patients can self-isolate at home. More serious cases can require hospitalization.

Elle Moxley covers education for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.

Alex Smith is a health reporter for KCUR. You can reach him by email at alexs@kcur.org.