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City of Houston reports 163 new coronavirus cases; and woman in her 70s with other health issues has died

The Houston Health Department says the dramatic jump in COVID-19 cases came from a batch of reports received by the department from area medical providers.

HOUSTON — The number of COVID-19 cases in Houston more than tripled on Saturday. 

The Houston Health Department reported 163 new cases bringing the total to 232.

They say the dramatic jump in coronavirus cases came from a batch of reports received by the department from area medical providers.

Sadly, the City of Houston also reported its second death from COVID-19.

A woman in her 70s with other health issues died Friday at a local hospital. 

“We are saddened by the death of a second Houstonian, said Dr. David Persse, local health authority for the Houston Health Department. “We extend our condolences to the patient’s family and loved ones. Our city unfortunately will likely see more deaths as this pandemic touches the lives of more people in our community. We urge people to follow the Stay at Home, Work Safe order to lower the number of deaths and illnesses as much as possible."

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The department launched an investigation to identify potential contacts exposed to the virus. The department will provide close contacts guidance about the virus and monitor them for the development of symptoms.

Houston’s first COVID-19 death, also an elderly woman with underlying health conditions, occurred March 24.

Three people in Houston have recovered.

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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. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

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 for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

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

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.

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.
  • Follow social distancing

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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