Memphis, Tenn., in Shelby County, just north of Mississippi, has reported one of the three confirmed cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the state.
Officials in Shelby County said the individual had recently traveled out of state but did not say where. The patient is quarantined in the Baptist Hospital in Memphis and is in good condition. Health officials are tracking anyone who might have come in contact with this patient, and they are being self-quarantined in their homes for at least 14 days. Health officials will be checking with them daily.
A second case was confirmed today in Nashville. That patient, an adult woman, is being quarantined in her home. Officials do not believe the case is travel related.
Tennessee announced its first confirmed case of the virus on Thursday, March 5. That patient, an adult man, is also in Nashville and had also recently traveled out of the state. He is being quarantined in his home.
The current situation
No cases have been confirmed in Mississippi, to date.
The number of cases in the U.S. continues to climb, and new cases are being reported daily. At this writing, 34 states and Washington D.C. have confirmed cases; 484 cases have been reported and 19 deaths, including two in Florida, the first deaths outside of the West Coast. The bulk of U.S. cases are clustered in Washington State, with 108 cases and 16 deaths. Almost as many cases are confirmed in California, 102, but only one fatality.
The number of new cases reported in China, where the disease was first diagnosed, seems to show a slowing of the disease’s spread. With more than 70% of all reported cases in the world, China also leads the world in deaths from the disease at more than 3,000. The country has taken dramatic measures to slow or stop COVID-19, including quarantining entire towns and closing schools and factories. Other countries are beginning to follow China’s example.
Worldwide, the number of cases is nearing 110,000, with more than 3,800 deaths. Italy, with the second-highest number of cases after China, has quarantined nearly a quarter of its population, 16 million people, in an attempt to isolate the disease. The number of cases there is 7,375 as of Sunday morning, with 366 deaths. South Korea and Iran have nearly as many cases with 7,313 and 6,566 respectively. In South Korea, the rate of new cases may also have slowed.
Health officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to advocate common sense hygiene to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC website.