The CDC on Tuesday issued the warning about the disease, which has spawned more than 80,000 cases around the world and killed more than 2,700, according to the Associated Press. The novel disease first began infecting people in Wuhan City, China in December, and while most of following cases have also been in China, a growing number of cases have been reported in other countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and 15 confirmed cases in the United States. There has not been a confirmed case in Denton County or in North Texas.
The new disease causes symptoms similar to those of the common cold or flu, including cough, fever and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. It is believed to mainly be spread person-to-person, by being in close contact with an infected person. If you develop similar symptoms and have either been to China recently or had close contact with someone who was in China recently, you should see your doctor quickly and mention that trip or contact.
The Denton County Public Health Department is recommending residents take the following preventative actions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- 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, the throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D., who represents Denton County in Texas’ 26th District, said in a statement this week that the coronavirus should be of more urgent concern than other recent serious epidemics, such as the Zika, Ebola, MERS, H1N1 and SARS viruses. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, of which Burgess is a member, is holding a hearing on the coronavirus Wednesday.
“As the Republican leader of the Health Subcommittee and the most senior physician in Congress, I appreciate the chance to utilize my expertise and ask questions about the administration’s efforts to combat the spread of this virus,” Burgess said. “Americans must remain vigilant by knowing the symptoms, by taking action if they suspect they might have those symptoms, and by seeking treatment to help prevent the spread of this coronavirus. What we are witnessing right now is that thus far during this outbreak, our public health system is working as federal, state, and local health officials work in tandem in this robust, rapid response.”
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