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What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)


Coronavirus disease is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person like the flu.

The new coronavirus was first identified in parts of China and now there are cases in many countries including the United States.

There are Coronavirus disease cases in Texas and Harris County. These cases are from people who traveled to countries that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now consider high risk.

Most people who get the virus have mild symptoms that are similar to having a cold or a mild case of the flu:  cough, fever, shortness of breath. Individuals who are elderly, have chronic diseases, or have poor immune function (cancer on chemotherapy, HIV, etc.) are most at risk for developing severe lung disease (pneumonia and trouble breathing).

Currently, there is no vaccine for Coronavirus. The best protection is prevention.

To protect yourself from Coronavirus disease and other respiratory diseases follow CDC recommendations:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • 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.

To stay informed about new information regarding Coronavirus, visit the CDC and Harris County Public Health websites for up-to-date information.

Harris Health System patients with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath are encouraged to call Ask My Nurse at 713-634-1110.

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention