Huntsville Hospital infectious disease specialist explains coronavirus outbreak control

He explained there are crucial things that need to be done to control an outbreak.

Posted: Oct 6, 2020 4:50 PM

WAAY 31 talked with an infectious disease specialist at Huntsville Hospital who explained his best practices for containing an outbreak. Dr. Ali Hassoun said he's in charge of infection control at the hospital.  

"Tracking, exposures and quarantine, that's essential to cut down on the outbreak," Hassoun said.

With at least 13 cases of coronavirus among White House staffers in the president's inner circle and his family, Hassoun explained the crucial first step in any outbreak.

"The most important thing is finding what we call the index case, meaning who had the first infection, and then to track and trace who got exposed and to test everyone," he explained.

He said from there, anyone exposed to the original case needs to follow quarantine protocols and get tested.

"They need to be quarantined, meaning stay at home, have their own bathroom, watch for symptoms, and what we usually do is we usually repeat the test not every day. We normally repeat the test every 5-7 days from exposure," he added.

Hassoun said it's unclear what type of testing the White House is doing with its staff, but he said some tests can pick up traces of the virus earlier than others.

"I'm not sure what test they do. It's just depending on what they do. My suspicion is they do the rapid test, which is the antigen as we call it. This is not as sensitive as the one we do at the hospital," he said.

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