x
Breaking News
More () »

Mississippi announces two more presumptive positive cases of COVID-19; total now at 3

All three cases are in Forrest County.

JACKSON, Miss — Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the second and third presumptive positive cases of coronavirus or COVID-19 in Mississippi. Final verification will come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

One case is a Forrest County adult female over 65 who recently traveled to North Carolina. The patient has been hospitalized. The other case is a Forrest County adult male who recently traveled to Florida and has been self-isolating at home without hospitalization.

The first presumptive case was reported Wednesday night in an adult male from Forrest County.

“We are conducting further investigation to determine if and how these cases might be connected to the first presumptive case. At this point, that is not clear, but we are thoroughly exploring all possibilities,” said MSDH State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, MD, MPH.

Dobbs announced Thursday that MSDH is expanding access to COVID-19 testing that will allow physicians to submit specimens to the Mississippi Public Health Laboratory or commercial labs without prior consultation with MSDH. If individuals are worried about having COVID-19, they should call their healthcare provider.

Additionally, Dobbs said the MSDH is expanding recommendations for long-term care visitors and large social gatherings.

“We know that this virus is easily spread person to person, so we recommend limiting visitations and discontinuing any group social activities in long-term care facilities,” he said.

MSDH also recommends that individuals should avoid gatherings of more than 250 people and take precautions when they are in public. Communities and organizations should take the current coronavirus situation into account in planning or canceling events.

“Stay informed of the cases in your county and surrounding counties, and maintain social distancing as practical,” said Dobbs. “Our older population and chronically ill individuals, who are especially at risk, should protect themselves by avoiding gatherings of more than 250 people.”

There is no recommendation at this time that schools should close. Complete details of the updated information and guidance are available on the MSDH website.

-----------------------------------------

3/11/20 - The MSDH Public Health Laboratory has identified the state's first case of #coronavirus COVID-19 in a Forrest County resident recently returned from Florida.

The patient has voluntarily isolated himself at home, and MSDH is conducting an investigation to limit any spread of infection from this case. We'll have more complete details, including recommendations for Mississippians, following our press conference at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday).

Forrest County residents and all Mississippians are not considered at additional risk from this case, and should continue to practice basic protective hygiene to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

-------------------------------

RELATED: Coronavirus live updates: Europe travel ban begins tonight; administration nears aid bill agreement

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

RELATED: Reports: President Trump to declare national emergency over coronavirus

Coronavirus in Context: 

The symptoms of coronavirus are 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.

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.