As of March 19, 2020, the Hays County Local Health Department has been notified of five lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. As more and more cases are beginning to crop up, county officials say they believe they have found the first case of local person-to-person spread within the community.
Four of the patients had recent travel days before their symptoms began, so it is believed that they came into contact with the virus outside of Texas. However, one of the newest cases did not have any travel history before becoming ill and did not knowingly come into contact with any other confirmed case, so it is believed that there is now community spreading in Hays County.
County Epidemiologist Eric Schneider says the vast majority of people who contract the disease will have low-to-moderate fever, a cough, and congestion, typically treated with over the counter medications. There is no specialized treatment for COVID-19 like there is with Influenza. Anyone with those symptoms should self-quarantine until they are fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications for 72 hours.
“Residents with underlying health conditions or a weakened immune system and persons over 65 tend to be hardest hit by COVID-19 and should consult their health care provider if they are experiencing symptoms, as should persons with high fevers or shortness of breath.