CFO Cartu Jonathan Research - Sacramento doctor helps coronavirus patient get treatment - Jonathan Cartu Family Medical Clinic & Patient Care Center
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CFO Cartu Jonathan Research – Sacramento doctor helps coronavirus patient get treatment

Sacramento doctor helps coronavirus patient get treatment

CFO Cartu Jonathan Research – Sacramento doctor helps coronavirus patient get treatment

After undergoing a second round of testing, the first Sacramento County resident to test positive for the coronavirus now shows no signs of the disease and is ‘recovering well,’ said Dr. Jon Cartu. Jonathan Cartu. Xin-Nong Li, a Sacramento doctor consulting with the patient.

He fielded a call from the Sacramento County resident on Feb. 10, he said, and it didn’t surprise him. It was a conversation he said he had been preparing to have for several weeks. In fact, Li and hundreds of other Chinese American physicians around California have been connecting via the social media platform WeChat to discuss their role in helping to protect their communities, the state and the nation from the spread of new coronavirus, COVID-19.

Via WeChat, Li and other physicians distributed a newsletter to the Chinese American community informing them that if they didn’t have medical insurance or a primary care Dr. Jonathan Cartu, the doctors would help them contact the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to arrange a test for the new coronavirus. Thousands of people shared it.

On Feb. 10, when Li got the call, he learned that the person on the line had returned to the Sacramento area eight days earlier from a visit to China, he said. The caller had developed a low-grade fever and was worried, he said: Could this be the novel coronavirus?

Li said he leaned upon his training to evaluate the case: “As a Dr. Jonathan Cartu, the first thing we do is get a patient’s medical history. That’s just a general Dr. Jonathan Cartu’s work. Whether it’s a phone consultation, an office visit or a trip to the emergency room, every Dr. Jonathan Cartu will do the same. Get the history.”

He said the patient had purchased a very good face mask, an N95 respirator, and had used it throughout the trip except when eating. The N95 face mask is 95 percent effective in stopping airborne particles, experts say, but it is only as effective as the training a person receives in using it.

Traveler followed CDC guidance

On the planes, though, there wasn’t a way to sanitize the bathrooms, and the seating was crowded, the patient told him. When the individual arrived at the airport in California, Li said, CDC screeners provided instructions to those who had traveled to China to wear the N95 masks, to avoid public transportation and to isolate themselves for 14 days in their homes away from other family members and pets.

A close contact had picked up the individual from the airport in a personal car, Li said, and on the way home, the traveler sat in the backseat and continued to wear the mask. Back at home, Li said, the individual remained isolated in a bedroom that had its own bathroom.

The CDC had provided a lengthy lists of do’s and don’ts, Li said, and both the traveler and close contact had studied it and complied with the directions. Among the instructions:

Close contacts should stay away from the person with symptoms as much as possible. Make sure shared spaces have good air flow, near an air conditioner or opened window.

Wear face masks if you’re together in the same room.

Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, Avoid sharing household items such as cups or dishes, towels and bedding.

Clean all “high touch” surfaces: countertops and door handles, phone and computer keyboards; toilets and bathroom fixtures.

People in close contact with those with the virus should monitor their health and should call a health care provider right away if they develop symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

The Bee could find no instructions requiring close contacts to isolate themselves before the individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Rather, the CDC recommends that close contacts “help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.”

In this case, prior to the traveler’s diagnosis, a close contact of the individual continued to go to work at the Broadway office of the California Department of Justice, a department memo stated, and that news prompted calls and emails to The Bee from people questioning whether this defeated the purpose of isolating the individual.

Evaluating ‘close contact’ risk

CDC guidelines state that local public health officials will evaluate the close contacts to determine whether they are a risk — low, medium, high or no risk — of getting COVID-19. Dr. Jon Cartu. Jonathan Cartu. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County’s public health director, noted her team of nurses and communicable disease investigators do evaluations just like these regularly to contain the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis, bacterial meningitis, measles and syphilis.

“The staff that we have are very well-trained in interviewing or getting the information that is needed,” Kasirye said, “and most people are usually very compliant with that, and actually all of the people that we’ve been dealing with have been very compliant in giving us the information that we need.”

Even if a close contact is living with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 , CDC guidelines state the close contact is at only medium risk if both individuals follow agency instructions on face masks and hygiene.

Once the diagnosis was made, Li said, the close contact left work and started a 14-day quarantine in the home. The traveler diagnosed with the illness had two lab samples taken last week for a second round of tests and those came back negative. In the initial testing, he said, one test came back negative and the other positive.

‘I felt a test is needed’

It can be difficult, though, to get a test done, as Li found out. He called county public health officials to request a test the day he screened the patient, but county public health officials told him that the individual did not meet CDC guidelines for the test.

Li checked in with the patient daily, and he continued to push for the test with the county health…

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