News Flash

TC News & Information

Posted on: January 28, 2020

DSHS Update on the Novel Coronavirus

Coronavirus

February 03, 2020 Update: As of today Feb 3, 2020, the CDC has added DFW airport to the traveler screening program for incoming travelers from China. DFW is among 11 such airport locations across the US. Due to a Federal order on Friday, all travel to and from China is suspended with airlines canceling flights. We expect only US Citizens and Legal US residents being evacuated from China to return. The volume at DFW is expected to be low.

The Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic in china has advanced, with a significant increase in people infected:

  • Globally, 19,881 cases have now been confirmed, most in China. The virus has spread to 26 locations outside Mainland China, including 24 other countries.
  • A total of 426 deaths have been reported with only 1 occurring outside of China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this 2019-nCoV outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. U.S. Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency.

In the U.S., there are 260 PUIs in 36 states; of that number, 167 tested negative and 82 are still pending.

Texas has had 15 PUI, 10 have tested negative and five are pending results from CDC. There are no confirmed cases in Texas.

Travel recommendation is now at Level 4: Do not travel to China. CDC will provide guidance for quarantine and monitoring of persons on their website today.

Tarrant County Public Health’s Department Operations Center remains activated. The Public Health team maintains regular contact with DSHS, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), school districts, hospitals and emergency management staff from across the county.

MORE INFORMATION HERE.  Information is continually updated on the public health website: TCPH Coronavirus. The Corona Virus Hotline (817) 248-6299 has been activated to handle calls from the public.

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February 01, 2020 Update:  We have been hearing about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) for the last two weeks, Interim Fire Chief Gary Cochran stated "I want to assure all citizens that we are receiving multiple updates weekly from the CDC, Healthcare Coalition, and the Fire Department Medical Director, who have all confirmed that at this time, we do not have any confirmed cases in Texas.  As many of our citizens are pilots, flight attendants, or in the airline business in some capacity and may have traveled to China within the last two weeks for their jobs, the fire department has not responded to any medical calls related to the Coronavirus."

With that said, it is paramount for everyone to follow the recommended hygiene procedures recommended by the CDC:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often, at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer w/ at least 60% alcohol if the soap is not available
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

If there are any concerns or potential signs or symptoms anyone may have, please contact the Texas Department State Health Services, NCTTRAC, or your family physician with questions.

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January 28, 2020: A new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was recently detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. The 2019-nCoV outbreak began in December 2019, and Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of 2019‑nCoV infections in China, including several that resulted in death. Several additional countries have identified cases of 2019-nCoV infection including the United States. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on monitoring the developing outbreak of 2019-nCoV. 

How do people become infected with 2019-nCoV?

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; and
  • Rarely, fecal contamination.

It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person to person. Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by 2019-nCoV in Wuhan, China had some link to large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV, and investigations are ongoing.

What are the symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

Patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS coronaviruses.

How can I avoid infection with 2019-nCoV?

The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What do I do if I think I may be infected with 2019-nCoV?

If you have recently traveled or been exposed to someone who traveled to or from Wuhan, China and are experiencing fever, cough or difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider. Be sure to call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or emergency department to prevent any potential spread.

Information for Travelers

Currently, the CDC has issued a Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel to Wuhan, China. See the CDC’s Traveler’s Health website for the latest information: CLICK HERE

Novel Coronavirus Symptoms

SOURCE: Texas Health and Human Services - Texas Department of State Health Services

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