Health officials continue to monitor the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19

 

 

BEAUMONT Febrruary 25, 2020 - As of Wednesday, one case has been confirmed in Texas: A patient who was among a group of people who had been under a federal quarantine order since arriving at a military base in San Antonio on a government-chartered flight from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. The patient had no exposure to the general public since leaving China, CDC said.

If your patients have questions or concerns about COVID-19, DSHS and CDC have plenty of information and resources for you.

This week, the CDC published an FAQ specifically for pregnant women that addresses topics such as transmission during pregnancy, transmission through breast milk, and long-term health effects on infants.

The CDC website also includes information about symptoms and complications, prevention and treatment, and how the virus is transmitted. In addition, CDC has published a Hospital Preparedness Assessment Tool to help prepare for the possible arrival of patients with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the DSHS website includes basic information about the virus, an FAQ, and guidance for health care professionals, laboratories, travelers, and more. DSHS also published an updated health alert on the coronavirus on Feb. 11.

Physicians and other health care workers should consider the coronavirus if a patient is showing symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) after having traveled to mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset, updated CDC guidance says. Suspected cases should be reported to your local health department, CDC said.

The recommendations for infection control are similar for any patient showing symptoms of an airborne respiratory virus, and include:

  • Masking and isolating the patient behind a closed door;
  • Wearing protective gear (goggles, gown, respirator mask) when caring for the patient; and
  • Washing hands and disinfecting equipment and surfaces that may have come in contact with the patient.

If you have any questions or would like more information specific to the coronavirus, contact DSHS at coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov.

In addition, DSHS has created a hotline staffed by nurses and epidemiologists that is open to the public and to health care professionals. The hotline is open from 7 am to 6 pm (CT) Monday through Friday at (877) 570-9779.

 
 
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