SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Three people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Tyler, according to Jenny Wells with the city.
No details about the patients have been released due to HIPPA laws. One patient is in serious condition. The patients are believed to be travel-related cases.
There are now four confirmed cases of coronavirus in East Texas with the other located in Gregg County.
This comes just two days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic on a global scale.
On Tuesday, Gregg County confirmed the first positive case of the coronavirus in East Texas. Officials say the patient, who they’ve yet to identify, traveled within the U.S., has a mild illness, and has continued self-isolation in their home.
The immediate risk of transmission in Smith County remains low, as there is no evidence of community spread at this time.
Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. People at higher risk for serious complications are the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Smith County residents are reminded to take the same measures that are recommended annually to prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory viruses.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well to wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases. If you are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, been exposed to a sick traveler from China, or been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, contact your healthcare provider.
For more information regarding the coronavirus, you can visit the CDC website.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.