The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has received its first positive test result for a case of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in an Alabama resident. The ADPH Bureau of Clinical Laboratories tested the individual. The patient, a resident of Montgomery County who has traveled outside Alabama recently, is currently in isolation.
Most patients with COVID-19 infection have mild respiratory illness along with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some have more severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Health officials urge anyone experiencing symptoms to first notify their healthcare provider so that proper precautions can be taken.“Calling ahead will reduce transmission and allow healthcare providers to safely manage your care,” ADPH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mary McIntyre said. “This will help protect others from exposure to COVID-19 and other viruses such as influenza, and you can learn where COVID-19 testing is available in your area.”
As a precaution, it is suggested that any gatherings of more than 500 people be postponed or canceled. As with the flu, common cold, or any respiratory illness, it is important that everyone continue to take steps to protect themselves and others by minimizing the risk of disease spread. This includes practicing good hand hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick persons, staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
Persons who are 65 years and older and those with health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and other conditions that can weaken the immune system should limit their interactions with any persons who have respiratory symptoms since they are most at risk.
ADPH continues to work with the CDC and other agencies to provide guidance regarding COVID-19 as more is learned. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19, normal precautions are recommended. ADPH is committed to sharing up-to-date information and will maintain patient privacy when announcing confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama residents.
The department will post the latest updates on alabamapublichealth.gov, including county-level numbers of COVID-19 cases. The number of laboratory tests performed by the ADPH Bureau of Clinical Laboratories will also be available on the website on a weekly basis each Friday.
More information is available by clicking “Coronavirus” on the home page of alabamapublichealth.gov/ and at the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html