City of Amarillo officials address coronavirus situation

The City of Amarillo Public Health Department is monitoring the 2019 novel coronavirus, which was discovered in China in Dec. 2019. As of today (Feb. 28), there have been no cases of coronavirus reported in the Amarillo area and no confirmed cases in the state of Texas.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people every year; numerous other coronaviruses circulate among animals. The symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. However, a person must have been exposed to the novel coronavirus to be sick with the illness.

“There are precautions that individuals can take that can make a difference in preventing coronavirus, as there are with most infections,” said Dr. Scott Milton, Public Health Authority/Associate Professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo. “The precautions are similar to flu prevention precautions – wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, sneeze, etc.”

“The Amarillo Public Health Department is collaborating with the medical community, schools, and state and national health officials regarding the coronavirus,” said Casie Stoughton, City of Amarillo Director of Public Health. “While there are no confirmed cases in Amarillo or Texas at this time, there are things people can do to help prevent the possibility of this illness.”

Recommendations include:

●Wash your hands with soap and water on a regular basis.

●Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

●Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home when you are sick.

●Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of the tissue in the trash.

●Follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for using a facemask.

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