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SA coronavirus patient being treated at Methodist Hospital Texsan, officials say

Health officials say the patient is stable with mild symptoms

SAN ANTONIOUpdate:

According to a news release from Methodist Healthcare officials, the patient diagnosed with novel coronavirus in San Antonio is being treated at Methodist Hospital | Texsan, in Balcones Heights.

Officials said the patient, who was an evacuee from China in quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, was found to have a fever before being privately escorted to a hospital in an ambulance equipped with protective coverings and a highly-trained staff, wearing protective gear.

The patient was isolated at all times, according to health officials.

Methodist Healthcare said the patient tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, but as of Thursday, is stable with mild symptoms.

Health officials say looking at the mortality rate, the coronavirus is not necessarily more dangerous than other viruses we’ve seen.

Still, more and more studies are being done to get a better understanding of how the disease works.

We’ll bring more details as they become available.

Original:

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and the City of San Antonio announced Thursday that a case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed.

The patient, who was quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, was officially diagnosed with the disease that first originated in Wuhan, China. The risk to the public remains low, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

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The patient had a fever reported Tuesday morning. Doctors took samples and sent them to the CDC for testing. The results that confirmed the diagnosis were received at 6 p.m. Wednesday, said Captain Jennifer McQuiston said, the deputy director of the center’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology.

The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby. Officials declined to release the name of the hospital.

The CDC previously said hospitals across San Antonio and the nation have a plan in place in case of a coronavirus diagnosis. The protocol went “exactly” according to plan, Nirenberg said.

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“The system worked precisely,” he added. “I want to repeat, every precaution has been executed according to plan.”

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Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia, who represents that area, released a statement asking residents to stay calm.

“As the representative serving the residents of Southwest San Antonio where JBSA-Lackland is located, I like to remind everyone that cooperation is essential to keep misinformation from spreading," Garcia said. “We ask for patience as we work together with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to enact public health measures.”

“Both the CDC and HHS have been working extensively with our City’s Metro Health Department and JBSA-Lackland to assist in efforts to detect early cases and prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” she added. "We are committed to providing residents with the latest updates and directing them to follow the precautions outlined by the CDC to minimize exposure to respiratory illnesses. "

However, there may be additional cases confirmed in the coming days, McQuiston said.

Quarantined individuals are monitored daily, and their temperatures are being taken twice a day.

All people who lived or traveled in Hubei Province, China, are considered at high risk of having been exposed to this virus and are subject to a temporary 14-day quarantine upon entry into the United States.

“For the most part, the people in quarantine are not doing much association with each other," McQuiston said. "They’re staying strong, they want to come through this 14 days and return to their families.”

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Feb. 20 marks the end of the 14-day quarantine, McQuiston said. At this time, there are no plans to extend the quarantine orders.

Officials are not releasing the name of the patient, but they did confirm the patient was a solo traveler. McQuiston said officials plan to do a thorough investigation of where the patient was in the days leading up to the diagnosis.

More than 600 people who returned on chartered flights from Wuhan remain under federal quarantine orders across the country. Officials said 91 of them are quarantined at the Lackland air base.

The total number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States is now at 15. The case confirmed in San Antonio Thursday is the first reported case in Texas.

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The best way to protect yourself from the virus is similar to protecting yourself from the flu, officials said, like hand washing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

Read KSAT’s latest coronavirus coverage here.


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