Eye doctors exercising extra caution over threat of COVID-19

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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - A 34-year-old ophthalmologist in Wuhan, China was the first person to discover COVID-19 while examining a patient.

Months later, eye doctors in the QCA are taking precautions to protect themselves and their patients from the novel coronavirus.

The team at Eye Surgeons Associates is screening patients at the door, wiping rooms down between patients, wearing protective masks and gloves, and also limiting the number of patients in their office.

"In our clinic now we're taking great precautions to try and prevent anyone from getting infected. That includes the physicians, our staff, and our patients," Dr. Beth Repp, an Ophthalmologists at Eye Surgeons Associates in Bettendorf, said, "We have decreased our appointments to only acute care visits and emergencies. To post-op. visits that are needed to be seen. And the third main reason we're seeing patients is if those patients need intraocular injections to improve their vision."

While they remain open for their patients, the threat of the novel coronavirus is on their minds because they are in such close contact.

"I think every healthcare right now is feeling at their most vulnerable. I'm very lucky that I'm not on the front lines of this. I'm not in the ER or the ICU. And many of my friends are. We're all of course nervous," Repp said.

Continuing to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention remain just as important. Wash your hands. Limit your travel. Stay home if sick.

"As long as we are taking the precautions that the medical experts are recommending, we're going to get through this. We are, but everybody has to be in this together," Repp said.