City of Amarillo: Public Health Officials Address Coronavirus


AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The City of Amarillo Public Health Department is monitoring the 2019 novel coronavirus, which was discovered in China in Dec. 2019.

While there are no cases cases of coronavirus reported here on the High Plains as of Friday, Feb. 28, the health department addressed ways to stay safe. They said prevention is key.

The health department is working together with the medical community, schools, and state and national health officials. They said coronavirus is spread much like the flu. The elderly and those with chronic medical problems are the most susceptible. Another concern is traveling.

Just like with any illness, there are precautions you should take to prevent the spread of germs:

  • 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.

Public Health Authority and Associate Professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo, Dr. Scott Milton, said these precautions make a big difference.

“That’s something that everybody can do and should do,” said Dr. Milton. “It’s just these types of things that just make common sense. We wash our hands. If we developed an illness, we try to stay away from people, self isolate ourselves, we don’t want to go to work sick, etc. All these things that we know are the right thing to do.”

If you do plan to travel, Dr. Milton said it is best to check for travel advisories from the CDC.

Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. A person must have been exposed to the novel coronavirus to be sick with the illness.

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