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Local health leaders break down numbers, urge you to get mental help if you need it

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- Allen County health leaders revealed Tuesday that another coronavirus patient died Monday night, bringing the total in the county to two.

While our coronavirus numbers certainly aren't anywhere near what Indianapolis is experiencing, they're worrisome, all the same.

Compared to other places, Allen County's numbers may not seem too alarming, but they are climbing.

More than half of Allen County's patients are 50 years and older, especially people 70 to 79 years old.

If patients do survive that after weeks in the hospital, it is not an easy recovery.

Two-thirds of patients have had to be hospitalized with 16% of them needing to be intubated and 13% of them developing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

That means their bodies are fighting so hard to get rid of the coronavirus, they are destroying the lungs in the process.

If patients do survive that after weeks in the hospital, it is not an easy recovery.

"They've been on very heavy sedation because being on a ventilator isn't very comfortable for these patients, so in a lot of cases they may be paralyzed, they're on medicine for their blood pressure, they're on heavy sedation. And in the process of that their muscles become weak so there's going to be a lot of physical rehabilitation as well as the rehabilitation of the lungs and the heart as they try to get better," says Dr. James Cameron of the Allen County Board of Health.

In the hospital, each of those patients require round the clock care from nurses and doctors who are putting their own lives at risk to treat them. And that's already taking a toll.

"When you see what's coming and you've seen that's happened in Italy and New York and you know that may be our unit next, it's a lot of anxiety knowing that you may have a unit full of these patients, and they aren't getting better quickly. They're going to be in there, very sick, for a week or two weeks if they survive," he says.

How much is coronavirus disrupting your work life? Your home life? Do you think about it all the time?

"I work here in the inpatient unit and we have seen an increase in people who are being admitted due to, I would say, COVID-related concerns. So it's absolutely not the medical aspect of the virus, but it's the constant read, it's the I'm really worried about this, I'm not sleeping because I'm thinking about it, or people are paranoid that they're going to get it," Dr. Matthew Runyan of Parkview Behavioral Health says.

The experts advise you to stick to a sleep routine, get exercise, and limit your time on social media.

They say to remind yourself and your kids that while you can't know what the future holds, you can control how often you wash your hands, how far away you stay from other people, and know that medical professionals are doing all they can to treat people.

They also say there is absolutely no shame in reaching out for some mental health help.

You can call the Parkview Behavioral Health HelpLine 24/7 at (260) 373-7500 or (800) 284-8439, as well as the Bowen Center at (800) 342-5653.

Both organizations work with insurances and have other resources to ensure you can afford any treatment you need.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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