The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention has issued a health alert regarding an outbreak of a new Coronavirus in Wuhan City, China, that began in December. The cases have now spread to several parts of China.
The first U.S. case was confirmed by the CDC in Seattle and a second one has been confirmed in Chicago. Some suspected cases are under investigation in several states.
Tarrant County Public Health’s operations center has been activated and emergency preparedness staff is working closely with the CDC and Texas Department of State Health Services to get the latest updates on this evolving situation. Tarrant County is updating its response plans as needed and sent health alerts to the Tarrant County medical community and other partners.
Tarrant County Public Health is working with local hospitals to advise if patients meet CDC recommendations for testing. If a confirmation of a case of novel Coronavirus is received, further communication will be provided to the public and news media.
The Coronavirus causes a respiratory illness with fever and cough, may lead to severe pneumonia and is similar to the SARS and MERS Coronaviruses. The SARS outbreak of 2003 sickened more than 8,000 people, and about 800 people died.
Confirmed cases of the 2019 novel Coronavirus are now reported from sox countries in addition to China.
Coronaviruses are part of a large family of viruses, which can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Symptoms are similar to the flu and include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease and people with weakened immune systems.
Tarrant County Public Health recommends following the same preventive precautions as for any respiratory virus.
The CDC is screening passengers at airports with direct or indirect traffic originating in Wuhan City: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta.
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