As media, the Oval Office, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports accumulate, Memphis Medical Society wants to inform its members and the Greater Memphis community about any dangers associated with the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Updated CPT code information from AMA:

Below are downloadable documents for our members and their patients, including a Stop the Spread of Germs poster and two letters that clinics can customize to communicate with their physicians and their patients.

Click the image to be taken directly to the most current updates from the CDC.

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

We have also included information from Memphis Medical Society member and infectious disease physician, Mike Threlkeld with Threlkeld Infectious Disease:

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a newly emerged human respiratory virus likely introduced from an animal reservoir. Initial human outbreaks occurred in China but have now spread to a number of other countries. As with any new pathogen, full details of transmission, clinical presentation, and mortality rates continue to fluctuate as new data become available. We do know that there are similarities to related coronavirus infections such as SARS and MERS, but the current outbreak seems more readily transmitted among humans, if somewhat less lethal. Current mortality estimates are in the 3% range based on data from initial cases in China, with the elderly and immunocompromised appearing to be the most vulnerable. However, it is hoped that mortality rates may be lower in developed countries with better resources for detection, isolation, and supportive treatment.

As we watch the epidemic unfold worldwide, it is important to prepare for the significant probability that imported cases will slip through even the most diligent of current surveillance efforts. This may be particularly relevant to a community such as Memphis, which serves as a major hub of international transportation and commerce.

Fortunately, most large communities in the United States have established contingency plans for managing serious respiratory virus outbreaks based on preparations for long anticipated influenza pandemics. Although the viruses are unrelated, there are many parallels between this current epidemic and a serious influenza epidemic, specifically: routes of transmission, clinical symptoms, isolation practices, and supportive treatment. Infrastructure for influenza management can be modified or adapted to the COVID-19 outbreak if needed.

There is no question that significant spread of this virus in the United States could cause major disruptions in community activities and tax our local healthcare systems in ways not seen for some time. However, this is not a time for panic but rather for careful preparation for an event which we still hope will be less severe than feared.

The US Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in this country and throughout the world. Their respective websites are useful sources for updates as well as specific recommendations to both the public and healthcare personnel.

The members of the Memphis Medical Society will continue to follow current trends and will be available to assist community leaders and public health officials in the event of any emergency.

For Physicians and Other Healthcare Providers

The best resource for providers remains the CDC website. Here is a link to their providers page, which lists a helpful flowchart for clinics:

Other resources include:

PUI form:

Room cleaning and recommended disinfection procedures:

Here is a link from JAMA that has even more clinical resources, including in Chinese:

For the Public

An article published on February 29 quoting the Surgeon General, World Health Organization officials, and Center for Disease Control officials.

“There is no role for these masks in the community,” he said. “These masks need to be prioritized for health care professionals that as part of their job are taking care of individuals.”

Here is an article to put current situation into perspective by MMS member and Church Health CEO Dr. Scott Morris –

UTHSC held a press conference to share local relevant information: you can view that here:

From State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey:

You can also view the latest information from Shelby County Health Department here: