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Mattress Mack says 'spread facts, not fear' in new coronavirus public service announcement

Jim McIngvale teamed up with a doctor from Houston's health department to help calm and inform the public.

HOUSTON — Houston's own Jim McIngvale, aka "Mattress Mack," has a new public service announcement you'll see on television airwaves during the COVID-19 pandemic.

McIngvale appears in the TV spot with Dr. Umair A. Shah from Harris County Public Health.

"Just like you, I'm thinking about how coronavirus can infect me and my family," the Gallery Furniture owner tells viewers. "I'm older, which means I'm considered high risk."

"If you're over 60 or have an underlying health condition, you're more susceptible to COVID-19," adds Dr. Shah.

They offer these tips to protect you and your family:

  • Avoid large crowds and sick people
  • Have backups for your medication
  • Arrange alternate plans for your caregivers

"Spread facts, not fear," says McIngvale.

RELATED: Latest coronavirus updates: view live blog

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.

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.

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.

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.

RELATED: Know the difference between COVID-19, flu and allergies

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