Peterson Health is aware of the recent outbreak in Wuhan City, China of a new, deadly coronavirus, and is stepping forward as a hub of communication about the outbreak in the area, a news release from the health care provider said last week.
Recent reports said 811 people in China had died in the outbreak, including one American in the province where the outbreak reportedly began.
The release said while Kerr, Bandera and other surrounding counties are considered a low risk area for infection, Peterson Health has begun working with community partners in Kerrville to promote safety and to keep the area informed about the status of the outbreak.
Cases of coronavirus have been detected in the United States, but no cases had been confirmed in Kerr County as of last week, the release said.
Pam Burton, infection prevention RN for Peterson Health, said, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as a common cold.
“However, there are at least two previously identified coronaviruses that have caused severe disease: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.”
Burton encouraged people to protect themselves by avoiding contact with sick people, wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, not to travel while sick and to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or a sleeve of their shirts (not their hands) when coughing or sneezing.
The release said Kerrville-based Peterson Health will continue to monitor and collect all resources from the American Hospital Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Department of State Health Services, other hospitals and health organizations and will work closely with Kerr area health partners to keep the public informed.
For updates on Peterson’s preparedness information, contact Burton at 830-258-7448 or Peterson Health Director of Marketing and Community Relations Lisa Winters at 830-258-7628.