North Texas experts: Maintaining healthy lifestyle key to facing coronavirus – Times Record News
Published 8:15 PM EST Feb 28, 2020
With reports of more cases of coronavirus appearing in countries across the globe, North Texas health experts advise that our region, in fact all of Texas, has yet to see a case of community-spread COVID-19.
One case of community-spread COVID-19, the scientific name for the coronavirus with apparent origins in Wuhan, China, was diagnosed this week in California. The patient, according to multiple media outlets, is from Solona County, California, with no related travel history or known contact with individuals diagnosed with coronavirus.
What does community spread mean?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines it this way: “Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown.”
The CDC reported Friday afternoon that there were now 62 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States.
UPDATE: Second case of unexplained coronavirus appears in California, raising fears of community infection
Area health experts stop short of sounding any alarms, but did advise North Texans to remain vigilant and take strides to stay healthy.
“Probably one of the most important things an individual can do is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting plenty of rest,” said Lou Kreidler, director of the Wichita Falls Wichita County Public Health District. “This will ensure you have the best opportunity to remain healthy and your body is prepared to fight off any illness.”
MORE: Coronavirus in Texas? Gov. Greg Abbott has plan to prepare for spread of virus
The campus community at Midwestern State University received similar advice earlier this month from Dr. Keith Williamson, medical director. Williamson stressed that the general health of a coronavirus patient greatly affects the ability to fight off mortality.
“If the lung problems get severe enough, 2019nCoV can be fatal,” Williamson wrote in a press release obtained from MSU’s office of marketing and public information. “On the other end of the spectrum, it also appears many people carry the virus and have minimal or no symptoms.
“The severity of the infection is most closely related to overall health; most of the deaths have been in older patients with additional health problems (such as lung disease or diabetes).”
EXPLAINED: Coronavirus: Everything to know about COVID-19, the deadly virus alarming the world
Both Williamson and Kreidler echoed common advice coming from the CDC: Wash your hands.
“Good health habits and hand washing will see you safely through the cold and flu season, even with the emergence of a new coronavirus,” Williamson stated.
In addition to washing your hands frequently, Kreidler gave two other obvious but perhaps forgotten pieces of advice: Avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth, and clean surfaces often and thoroughly.
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