A man hid his coronavirus symptoms to join his wife in a New York hospital maternity ward. She ended up infected also.

insider@insider.com (Lauren Frias)
A healthcare worker entering the Brooklyn Hospital Center during the coronavirus pandemic in New York.

Reuters

  • A man is suspected of infecting his pregnant wife with the novel coronavirus after hiding his symptoms to join her in a New York hospital maternity ward, USA Today reports.
  • He revealed his condition only after his wife gave birth and also began to display symptoms.
  • The incident prompted the hospital — Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York — to impose stricter screening measures on the already few visitors allowed in the maternity ward.
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A man hid his coronavirus symptoms from hospital staff so he could be with his pregnant wife in a New York hospital maternity ward last week, USA Today reported Tuesday.

The man revealed his symptoms and possible coronavirus exposure to his wife only after she had given birth when she also began to display respiratory symptoms, according to USA Today.

"The mother became symptomatic shortly after delivering," a UR Medicine spokesman, Chip Partner, told USA Today. "That's when the significant other admitted his potential exposure and that he was feeling symptomatic."

Maternity ward staff were alerted about the possibility of coronavirus exposure, Partner added, but they were advised to keep working until they felt symptomatic. Partner told USA Today that one staff member displayed symptoms but ended up testing negative for the novel coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19.

Partner said that because of privacy laws the hospital could not disclose whether the mother, father, or newborn tested positive for the virus.

USA Today said the incident prompted the hospital — Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York — to impose stricter screening measures on the already few visitors allowed in the maternity ward.

University of Rochester Medical Center, whose campuses include Strong Memorial, announced Monday that it would start taking temperatures of visitors and require staff, patients, and visitors to wear surgical masks in the facilities.

"It was purely an honor system before," Partner told USA Today. "Now, we're adding the temperature check."

New York has emerged as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, with more than 75,000 people infected throughout the state and at least 1,550 dead. Throughout the country, at least 188,328 people have contracted the virus — the highest national total in the world — and the US death toll has surpassed 3,800.

The coronavirus pandemic has spread to more than 180 countries, infecting more than 857,000 people globally and killing more than 42,000. At least 178,000 have recovered from the virus since the outbreak began late last year in the Hubei province of China.

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