New COVID-19 case confirmed in Multnomah County
Oregon officials on Tuesday, March 10 said Multnomah County had detected its first case of the coronavirus.
The man is between the ages of 55 and 74, Multnomah County Health Officer Jennifer Vines said at a press conference.
Officials said there are now 15 cases of the illness in Oregon. Meanwhile, the number who have tested negative for the virus climbed from 165 to 213, a jump of 48.
The Oregon Health Authority and Multnomah County said they were trying to seek out and isolate anyone who may have been in close contact with the new patient within the past two weeks. The case is being treated at Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Officials believe the man was infected as a result of community transmission. That's because the new patient had no known contact with a confirmed case, and had not traveled from a country where the virus is circulating.
"I can only imagine the concern among the family and friends of this person," said Dr. Jennifer Vines, lead health officer for the tri-county region. "I'm asking you, as my neighbors and as my community, to keep this individual and their loved ones in your thoughts. And let us all do what we can to minimize the number of other people who must go through this."
Health officials say they are continuing to urge Oregonians to do whatever they can to slow the spread of the disease and protect those who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.
Officials say the most high risk include adults 60 and older, or anyone with a serious health condition, including lung or heart problems, kidney disease, or diabetes, or who has a suppressed immune system.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people who are vulnerable to stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings.
Officials urge every Oregonian to take basic steps to protect those at risk:
• Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and do so often.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth when your hands are not washed.
• Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
• Stay home if you feel sick.
The COVID-19 virus spreads much as the flu does, but symptoms don't always show up immediately or show up at all, especially among younger people.
Said Vines, "Without a vaccine and without medicine, our best bet as a community is to slow the spread so those who do get seriously ill can get the care they need from our health system."
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