Coronavirus taking toll on nurses, doctors around the globe

The coronavirus is taking a serious toll on the doctors and nurses risking their lives while treating the disease.

Carlo Palermo, head of Italy’s hospital doctors’ union was almost in tears when he told reporters in Rome that two nurses had committed suicide as a result of the emotional trauma, the Associated Press reported.

“I can understand those who look death in the eye every day, who are on the front lines, who work with someone who maybe is infected, then a few days later you see him in the ICU or die,” he said. “It’s [an] indescribable condition of stress.”

Italy and Spain have been among the hardest hit, with more than 25,000 dead and more than 250,000 infected. Both countries say a high percentage of their medical personnel have been infected. In Italy, 73 doctors have died.

It’s harder to find data for the number of medical personnel dead or infected from the virus in the US because no nationwide data has been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical associations or health-care worker unions.

Hospitals worldwide are straining under the load of too many patients and not enough medical equipment and protective gear for doctors and nurses, The Washington Post reported.

On Saturday, China singled out its more than 3,000 doctors and nurses who have been infected with the disease and the 14 who reportedly died from it, the AP said. Numbers of those dying and infected are greatly reduced in China, however. Officials reported only one death Saturday.

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