More than three dozen University of Texas students have tested positive for the coronavirus after taking a spring break trip to Mexico, public health officials said.
A group of about 70 people who are in their 20s took a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas about 10 days ago, the Austin Public Health Department said Tuesday. So far, 44 people in the group have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness linked to the coronavirus, and dozens more are being monitored, the health department said.
The department said four people with confirmed cases did not have any symptoms.
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“The virus often hides in the healthy and is given to those who are at grave risk of being hospitalized or dying,“ Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said. “While younger people have less risk for complications, they are not immune from severe illness and death from COVID-19.”
The students were part of a group trip to Mexico that had not been canceled by the travel company, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems. Hospitals in the most afflicted areas are straining to handle patients and some are short of critical supplies.
Texas has reported more than 3,200 cases of COVID-19 and 41 deaths. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that Texas’ schools will stay closed through at least May and imposed restrictions that doctors and even his critics say amount to a stay-at-home order for the state — despite Abbott refusing to call it that.
How to Avoid COVID-19 Infection:
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- 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.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
*Information shared from the Office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott