CONTACT: Laura Mayes, Government & Public Affairs
(210) 207-1337; (956) 821-7925
Michelle Vigil, San Antonio Metro Health
Office: (210) 207-8172
CDC Media Relations: (404) 639-3286
SAN ANTONIO (FEBRUARY 13, 2020) — The CDC, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District today confirmed a case of the COVID-19 virus (2019-nCoV, previously known as novel coronavirus) in Bexar County. The patient who was under a federal quarantine order at Lackland Air Force Base recently returned from Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by this novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019. This brings the total of number of 2019-nCoV cases in the United States to 15.
“The collaboration between our local, state and federal partners is working as it was designed. We will continue to work together to protect our community from exposure to the virus,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
At this time, the risk to the public remains low. This case is the first in Texas. Although few cases have occurred in the United States, the City of San Antonio continues to prepare and coordinate with its state, regional and federal partners. While this is a positive case, the quarantine process functioned as appropriate and the patient is being treated in maximum level isolation and is in stable condition.
For the latest information on the outbreak, visit CDC’s COVID-2019 website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html
The CDC and the City of San Antonio held a media briefing this morning, it can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/SnN11DbOhI4
On February 11, the CDC worked with local authorities because a person in quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base was observed to have a fever during the day’s routine screening. The CDC coordinated safe transport of the patient to a local hospital that has isolated and cared for the patient. The patient was screened for COVID-19 and specimens were provided to the CDC for testing. The positive test results were confirmed on February 12, 2020. All responding personnel continue to follow CDC guidelines for the use of personal protective equipment and care of the individual. Out of respect for the privacy of the patient and their household, this is the only information that is available at this time.
Information for the Public:
Metro Health continues to maintain an up-to-date website which will provide current updates to anyone seeking information on the situation:
Information regarding the Novel Coronavirus is also available in American Sign Language at this link: http://sat.ahasalerts.com/ActiveAlerts.aspx?id=1334
How do people become infected with Coronavirus?
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- Respiratory droplets released into 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; and
What are the symptoms?
Patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
How can I avoid infection with Novel Coronavirus?
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.