Health care

Samples taken from a suspected coronavirus carrier in Texas have come back negative from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, officials at the Brazos County Health District said.

A Brazos County college student, identified as a possible carrier last week, was cleared Sunday.

The student had recently traveled to China's Wuhan Province, where the outbreak of the virus has killed 81 people, as well as hospitalized thousands more worldwide this month.

Texas remains coronavirus free, but five U.S. cases have been confirmed: two in California, one in Chicago, one in Arizona, and the original case in Washington state.

All patients suffering from the virus had recently traveled to the Wuhan Province.

Patients are under quarantine; doctors are monitoring close contacts of all infected patients for signs and symptoms of the virus for 14 days.

The virus, which can turn deadly, causes flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, headache, and dry coughs.

Some patients develop a lethal case of pneumonia, which leaves honeycomb-shaped holes in their lungs and generates severe respiratory failure.

Worldwide reaction to the virus has been swift. Wuhan and 16 other cities in China have been locked down, with no travel allowed for more than 50 million people in those areas.

In the United States, anyone arriving from Wuhan must do so through one of five airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

Health officials at those five airports are checking incoming passengers for symptoms, such as fever, cough, and breathing problems.

To minimize chances of contracting coronavirus, health experts encourage people to take preventative steps, including getting a flu shot, washing hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, for at least 20 seconds; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

For more information visit the CDC website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

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