The Northeast Texas Public Health District has identified a positive case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Gregg County. The test result was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within their testing facilities in Atlanta, Georgia. The patient has traveled within the continental United States, has mild illness, and has continued self-isolation in their home. The immediate risk of transmission in Gregg County remains low, as there is no evidence of community spread at this time.
Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People at higher risk for serious complications are those with underlying health conditions and with people over the age of 65. Health care providers and epidemiologists will remain in contact with this confirmed individual, as well as with anyone that interacted with this individual, if they believe they may be at risk of infection. Gregg County residents are reminded to take the same measures that are recommended annually to prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory viruses. These include:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases. If you are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, been exposed to a sick traveler from China, or been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, contact your healthcare provider.
Be sure to call before going to your doctor or emergency department to prevent any potential spread.
General information regarding postponement of public events, disruption of transportation, cancellation of large gathering events, and ways to mitigate myths of disease transmission are maintained at https://www.mynethealth.org/services/public-emergency-preparedness/coronavirus.