Health

A possible case of the coronavirus has been discovered in Brazos County.

A Brazos County resident may have been infected with the coronavirus, a deadly virus which originated in China last month.

Described as a “mystery virus” when it attacked China's Wuhan Province, coronavirus is responsible for at least 17 deaths, and has infected hundreds more worldwide.

The Brazos County patient, who has been identified as a college student, had recently traveled to the Wuhan Province.

Health officials at the airport quickly recognized the patient's symptoms, and the patient is being kept isolated at home while the precautionary testing is done.

Brazos County Health District spokesperson Mary Parrish told the Herald-Press Thursday specimens have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, and they expect results between Saturday and Monday.

The health district will notify the public as soon as results come in. Those interested should follow the Brazos County Health District Facebook page, Parrish said, which is updated often.

The virus presents with flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, headache, and dry coughs. Instead of getting better, however, health experts say, the virus can turn deadly.

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

While most carriers of other viruses typically infect up to three people, carriers of the coronavirus can infect more than a dozen.

The first case in the US was reported earlier this week, when a 30-year-old man in Washington State was diagnosed with coronavirus. He remains under observation.

The CDC has since restricted those traveling to the U.S. from Wuhan, China to arrive at one of five airports nationwide: 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 the five airports are checking incoming passengers for symptoms such as fever, cough and trouble breathing.

Those that have traveled to Wuhan, China and have flu like symptoms are encouraged to call the health district at 979-361-4440. If medical care is needed, health officials urge patients to call their healthcare providers first before arriving. All nonessential travel to Wuhan should be avoided.

To minimize chances of contracting coronavirus, the general public is encouraged to follow general preventative actions, including:

• Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get a flu shot. 

• 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.

For more information visit the CDC website:

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

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