Houston We Have Problem
A man in his 70's recently returned from traveling abroad and started feeling sick whenever he got to his home in Fort Bend County. He is currently hospitalized and in stable condition.
Fort Bend County Health and Human Services has confirmed the “first presumptive positive case of COVID-19”. The case is being called a “presumptive positive” as they wait for the samples to be tested by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab in Atlanta for confirmation. Local officials believe the veracity of the Houston test results.
Earlier this week, a coronavirus patient was released from San Antonio's Lackland Air Force Base before having the test results confirmed by CDC in Atlanta. The test results came back positive after the patient was released from the quarantine section of the Lackland Air Force Base. The patient spent 12 hours in public, were she visited a local mall and an airport hotel in San Antonio.
“The city of Houston is monitoring information about COVID-19 and is responding to the public health threat. I am gratified the CDC has approved local COVID-19 testing in our Houston Health Department lab,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Local testing capacity is an important step in speeding up the testing process so that we can have the information needed to respond quickly and efficiently should COVID-19 reach our community.”
Currently, the Houston Health Department lab has one testing kit with the capacity to test approximately 350 patients. If a test comes back positive, that test would be sent to the CDC lab in Atlanta for further confirmation, but local testing is considered actionable.
“This presumptive case is actionable and we are treating it as a positive,” officials wrote. “Fort Bend County Health & Human Services has started an epidemiological investigation and is leading the effort to quickly identify close contacts with the individual. Close contacts may include family members, co-workers, emergency responders, and other contacts.”
Officials are asking Houstonians not to run to the hospital if they start to feel sick and instead contact their local physician. They are also encouraging everyone to utilize common hygiene and social habits in order to prevent transmission of the disease from person to person.
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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 coughs and sneezes. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
Remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe