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Mayor Turner: The curve has flattened

Though the curve has flatted, Mayor Sylvester Turner warned we have to continue to follow guidelines.

HOUSTON — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said doctors are telling him the curve has flattened and indicating that if we haven't hit the peak yet, we're close.

Health experts say everyone must continue following guidelines, including social distancing so the trend will continue.

"We're not coming down yet. We've plateaued," said Houston Health Authority David Persse. "That means all of things Houstonians are doing means we are at the same pace as the power of this virus. What everyone is doing is working. Keep doing it."

Latest cases in Houston and Harris County

As of Friday afternoon, there were more than 8,200 cases of coronavirus in the Houston area and nearly 160 deaths. For the first time, it was announced Friday, a person without underlying health conditions died due to the coronavirus: a man in his 70s.Some 2,300 people have recovered from the virus.

Worst budget deficit in Houston history

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Friday said the City of Houston is facing a $170 million-$200 million budget shortfall -- the worst deficit in the history of Houston -- and is expecting thousands of city employee furloughs."It will be the worst budget deficit that the city has faced," Turner said at a press conference Friday afternoon. "I said in 2016 that it was the worst, and that's because we were dealing with ... the rising cost of pensions. ... This one will be worse than 2016."

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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.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.