Parkland Hospital and Dallas County Health and Human Services have dispelled rumors of a confirmed case of coronavirus in Dallas. The virus — which can be asymptomatic but often causes fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath — originated in Central China and has claimed 426 lives, infecting more than 24,000 people worldwide. It reaches the U.S. by way of infected travelers. Nationally, 11 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, affecting patients in California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Arizona, and Washington. Reports last week suggested that the virus may have made its way to DFW.
The Dallas Morning News cited the possibility of a local infection on Friday morning, claiming that Dallas County Health and Human Services officials would relay any confirmed cases to the public. A day later, perhaps in response to the DMN reports, the Crow Museum of Asian Art and University of Texas Dallas postponed the Lunar New Year Festival scheduled to take place on Saturday at NorthPark Center.
There is no cure for Coronavirus, and officials all over the world are instituting travel bans, shutting down factories, and taking other precautions as the death toll rises. It is spread person to person from coughing or sneezing, and there have been over 20,000 cases worldwide, with 426 deaths in China alone. The World Health Organization has not yet declared a Pandemic, according to CNN.
Despite these stirring reports and reactions, there seems to be no cause for alarm.
“Dallas County does not have any confirmed cases, and we want to reiterate that the overall risk to the American public remains low,” Michael Huang, a Dallas County health authority, stated in a press release. Parkland staff echoed these remarks. “The media reports that Parkland has a patient who has tested positive for coronavirus are incorrect,” said Mike Malaise, a senior vice president of communications and external relations at Parkland.