Mississippi Hospital Coder lays out key threats COVID-19 poses to everyone


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Debates continue across the country and Mississippi about how deadly the Coronavirus is to the average person and if the latest data fits the precautionary measures we’re taking to flatten the curve. One Mississippi Hospital Coder says yes.

From analyzing patients in New Orleans to Mississippi and Arkansas, coder Joseph Dolbear has drawn many graphs about the Coronavirus.

While more than 150,000 Americans have recovered from COVID-19 and most were categorized as asymptomatic, experts still say you can’t take the virus lightly.

“The people who seem to think that it’s really not an issue and they can go on with life, as usual, are sadly mistaken,” Jospeh Dolbear said.

In recent coding to study the virus, Dolbear and other researchers have discovered trends showing how more contagious the Coronavirus is than other common diseases. Especially when it infects those with weak immune systems or other pre-existing conditions.

“Normally for influenza, we might see 1 in 20 people develop Pneumonia,” Dolbear continued. “That’s not the case with Coronavirus, I’m seeing people getting it and within 24 hours they’re going on a ventilator and saying on it for 30 days.”

Once you’re infected it can turn deadly quick.

“Primarily it’s a respiratory disease, but it’s also being seen as a large effect on the kidneys,” Dolbear explained. “And liver and can cause multiple organ failure.”

For these reasons, Dolbear encourages the public to follow social distancing and “safer at home” orders. He believes it should be enforced in more rural areas of the state, including Leake County, where he lives. The county has a total of 233 cases. That’s slightly more than Rankin County, which has a higher population of 85%.

“Finally when I shopped yesterday for the first time the cashiers were wearing masks,” Dolbear said.

“Don’t be surprised is we have a rebound in cases and have to reverse course,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs of the Mississippi Department of Health stated Friday. “If people are not willing to do the simple things that are requested at this time.”

While explaining coding, Dolbear also pointed out the Coronavirus develops more severe cases of Pneumonia to massively invade the lungs causing them to fail. Conditions much worse than any pre-existing condition a patient may already have when they test positive. We reached out to Governor Reeves office for any updates on stepping up enforcement throughout the state in hot spots, but haven’t heard back.

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