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First case of coronavirus confirmed in Jefferson County is Beaumont resident, health officials say

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames says one person has tested positive

BEAUMONT, Texas — Jefferson County has its first positive test result for coronavirus according to a Wednesday release from the Beaumont Public Health Department. 

According to the release, the person is a Beaumont resident. 

The woman is quarantined, and her identity won't be released at this time. 

Officials said in the release, "We understand this positive case may concern our community, but at this time there is no evidence of community spread. The immediate risk for Beaumont residents remains low." 

The department says it is making an 'epidemiological investigation' to quickly identify close contacts of the person. Family, friends, co-workers and potential contacts may be included. 

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames told 12News on Wednesday that 'it would be shocking if we did not have' a case. She said the she doesn't know the symptoms the patient is showing. 

"This is what we have been preparing for," Ames said. 

From a Beaumont Health Department news release: 

Today, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, The Beaumont Public Health Department confirmed the first Beaumont resident tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This individual is currently quarantined. For confidentiality purposes, BPHD is not releasing any additional information to identify the individual.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. We understand this positive case may concern our community, but at this time there is no evidence of community spread. The immediate risk for Beaumont residents remains low. We have worked very hard planning and preparing for this moment. There are steps in place to safeguard the community.

BPHD is conducting an epidemiological investigation and is working to quickly identify close contacts of the individual. Those may include family, friends, co-workers and other potential contacts

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

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Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or 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.

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Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash

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Lower your risk

  • 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.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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