Friday, March 20, 2020

Houston Health Department reports eight new COVID-19 cases

The Houston Health Department reported eight new positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID -19) cases Friday, bringing the city’s total to 19.

The cases are:  
  • Female | Age 50-60 | Travel to Kansas |Hospitalized
  • Male | Age 40-50 | Travel to Georgia |Hospitalized
  • Female | Age 60-70 | No known travel |Home Recovering
  • Female | Age 60-70 | Travel to Spain | Home Recovering
  • Male | Age 50-60 | Travel UK | Home Recovering
  • Male | Age 40-50 | Travel to NY, NJ, PA | Home Recovering
  • Male | Age 40-50 | Travel to Colorado | Home Recovering
  • Male | 40-50 | Travel to Nevada | Home Recovering
 Investigations conducted by the department will identify potential contacts exposed to the virus. The department will provide close contacts guidance about the virus and monitor them for the development of symptoms.

While COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus, daily precautions recommended to prevent respiratory illnesses are the same:
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you can't wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, use the elbow of your sleeve.
  • Don’t use your hands to cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and keep children home when they are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get a flu shot. (Although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it is flu season.)
Health officials recommend people monitor themselves and seek medical care if they develop COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Before going to a doctor’s office or an emergency room, people must call ahead to inform healthcare professionals about their symptoms and recent travels.
 
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
  • Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing.
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.
Privacy protection laws only permit the release of limited patient information. The health department is unable to release any additional patient information.

Houstonians may visit HoustonEmergency.org for updated information about local risk, routine protective actions, frequently asked questions, communication resources, rumor control, emergency preparedness tips and more.