SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio's Metro Health says now is the time to prepare for the possibility of the coronavirus spreading to the general community in south Texas.
"Right now the concern is low we don't have any community spread it in our community and this is why we are having conversations about prevention," said Mario Martinez, the Assistant Director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. He says you should be treating coronavirus protection just like you would the flu. Martinez told us, "The prevention is very similar to how we treat other respiratory illnesses like the flu."
The World Health Organization agrees and says wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Stay at least three feet away from anyone who may be infected. If you feel sick, cover your entire mouth when and nose when you cough or sneeze. And don't cough or sneeze into your hands, use your elbow or a tissue instead.
Metro Health says to avoid handshaking, and instead use a fist bump, or better yet an elbow bump, to avoid as much skin to skin contact as possible.
But an outbreak of the virus comes to south Texas and you need to isolate yourself be prepared to get ready. Martinez said, "They should have ample soap and disinfectants, making sure if individuals are on medication that they have medication for 60 to 90 day prescriptions available to them at home."
The American Red Cross says it is important to stay informed in these ways. Learn how your children's schools and your place of work plan to handle any outbreak. Have a caring plan in place if you have elderly parents or relatives should they fall ill. Know how your local public health agency will share information. In San Antonio that is Metro Health.
In it's latest briefing the CDC said coronavirus test kits should be in the hands of state and local officials by the end of next week.
For the latest information on the coronavirus you can go to the Metro Health website here: https://www.sanantonio.gov/HEALTH
You can also check out the CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html