Second presumptive positive COVID-19 case confirmed in El Paso

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — City of El Paso Department of Public Health officials confirmed a second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in El Paso.

The second case involves a male in his 40s who is currently hospitalized. Medical officials are in the early stages of the epidemiological investigation and have yet to determine if the man has a history of travel outside the region.

“News of this case came to us less than an hour before a press conference that had been scheduled days prior,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “This is just an example of how quickly things can change when it comes to this virus and our willingness as public servants to provide accurate information to the public as swiftly as possible.”

The case follows Friday’s announcement of the first case, a man in his 40s who recently traveled to California. Both cases are presumptive positives, meaning they will need to be confirmed by the CDC, but officials say most cases returning presumptive positives are eventually confirmed.

The Department of Public Health says they’ll be testing samples 7-days a week. Fort Bliss has its own testing facility and protocols.

Symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus include a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Local health officials say anyone who suspects they may have the virus should contact their health provider by phone before going into the doctor’s office or hospital. COVID-19 is spread via coughs and sneezes of those already infected.

Health officials say about 80-percent of cases are mild and most people do not need hospitalization. However, older adults and people with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are at a greater risk.

This is a developing story.

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