coronavirus

States with confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, or the coronavirus, as of January 27, 2020. Photo courtesy U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — Kaufman County's newly-appointed Health Authority officer issued the following statement on Monday morning, January 27, 2020, regarding the coronavirus, officially 2019-nCoV:

"A new coronavirus (official name is 2019-nCoV) was recently detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. The current outbreak began in December 2019, causing hundreds of 2019 nCoV infections in China. While the most common cases have caused cold and flu-like symptoms, there have been several cases that resulted in death. In the last few weeks, several additional countries have identified cases of 2019-nCoV infection including the United States.

As with many communicable diseases, our understanding of the threat can evolve rapidly as more cases are identified. As of this writing, no cases in Texas have been positively diagnosed, but cases have been identified in Arizona, Indiana, Washington, and California.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has a website with daily updated information: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/. This resource has detailed information for patients and healthcare providers, and will answer many questions you may have.

In the meantime, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to continue universal precautions, similar to preventing spread of flu or other cold viruses: Effective hand washing, avoiding those who are sick, staying home when you are sick, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, etc.

If you have been to Wuhan City in the last few months, or have recently had personal contact with someone who has traveled there or has this infection, AND you have fever and upper respiratory symptoms, please call your healthcare provider and let them know you need to come in for evaluation.

Benjamin R. Brashear, MD

Kaufman County Health Officer"