East Texas medical professionals explain coronavirus and how to protect yourself

CDC confirms United States 5th case

East Texas medical professionals explain coronavirus and how to protect yourself

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Five confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have been reported in the United States. One case in Washington state, Chicago, California - one each in Los Angeles County and Orange County, and now Arizona, a Maricopa County resident.

The (new) coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This upper-respiratory tract illness is similar to the common cold. As of Sunday morning, the death toll in China was 56.

Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread.

However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring.

According to 2019′s Texas’ top infectious disease specialist and researcher at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, Richard J. Wallace Jr., MD, he believes that in order to protect yourself, you should consider wearing a face mask.

WEBXTRA: Coronavirus basics

“One of the things that Americans don’t do much of is masks…if you look at the people from Japan, China, the Orient, even in Europe. You get on a plane from there, half the people are wearing masks. Americans for some reason don’t do that, they’re good scientific studies that wearing a mask protects you against respiratory infections and if you have a respiratory infection, it decreases your risk for transmission,” Wallace said.

Here in East Texas, there are no confirmed cases. UT Health East Texas and Christus Trinity Mother Frances centers, have NOT received any patients carrying the coronavirus.


According to the CDC, these illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include:

· runny nose

· headache

· cough

· sore throat

· fever

· a general feeling of being unwell

Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults.


Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through

· the air by coughing and sneezing

· close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

· touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

· rarely, fecal contamination

How to protect yourself

There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection. You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following

· wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

· avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

· avoid close contact with people who are sick

· For information about hand washing, see CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives!

How to protect others

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by doing the following

· stay home while you are sick

· avoid close contact with others

· cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands

· clean and disinfect objects and surfaces


There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms

· take pain and fever medications (Caution: do not give Aspirin to children)

· use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough

If you are mildly sick, you should

· drink plenty of liquids

· stay home and rest

The CDC will begin updating these numbers on its website three times a week — Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays — starting tomorrow on Monday, Jan. 27.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider.

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