VA Health System Swamped by Coronavirus Patients

March 27, 2020 -- Coronavirus patients are swamping Department of Veterans Affairs health facilities across the United States.

The nation's largest health care system had nearly 500 cases as of Thursday, a 60% increase since Tuesday, CBS News reported.

The average VA patient is older than 60, and many have underlying health problems that put them at high risk for respiratory complications from the coronavirus.

When their patients get sick, "they get really sick," Dr. Lewis Kaplan, a surgeon at the Philadelphia VA medical center, told CBS News.

"Our typical patient might have heart disease and peripheral arterial disease" Kaplan said. "So we worry [...] when they need care that they're going to be a challenging patient to look after, and some of them really are."

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