Hospital that already faced yellow fever, cholera, HIV and Ebola, combats Covid-19
It was 1795 and several people began to arrive at Bellevue Hospital in New York, with symptoms of yellow fever. The city that never sleeps thus began to experience the beginning of an epidemic that, in that year, would cause 730 deaths, a result considered, at the time, devastating in a city that had a population of about 40 thousand inhabitants.
Two hundred years later, Bellevue, the oldest and one of the most prestigious public hospitals in the United States, is again at the forefront in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 that is plaguing the city. In recent weeks, the hospital has reorganized facilities and medical personnel to accommodate the growing number of patients with Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. To date, New York State has recorded 188,694 cases and 9,385 deaths.
Currently, the Bellevue occupies a 22-story building and is part of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the largest public hospital system in the country. The medical services provided by the institution are charged according to the family’s possessions and, if the patient does not have health insurance, he can request financial assistance to pay the bill.
The famous hospital, which in its psychiatric ward housed in 1980 John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, is also one of the ten hospital centers in the USA recognized for its special pathogen program, that is, it has medical teams specially trained in biocontainment for the treatment of infectious diseases. The hospital was also the first to have a maternity ward, professional nursing school, pediatric clinic and forensic department, among other services.
HIV and Craig Spencer
In the eighties of the last century. Bellevue has become a place for AIDS patients. The USA, at that time, registered more than 130 thousand new cases diagnosed with HIV each year and, without treatment, the confirmation of the disease was seen as a death sentence.
As now with Covid-19, New York was at that time one of the main epidemics of the HIV epidemic. Many of the studies and tests that resulted in treatments for the disease were carried out at Bellevue hospital
The last big adventure, before the worldwide outbreak of the new coronavirus, occurred in 2014, when the hospital faced the challenge of treating doctor Craig Spencer, the only Ebola case recorded in New York. Spencer stayed in a special isolation wing, established during a drug-resistant tuberculosis epidemic that hit the city in the 1990s.