AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A patient being evaluated in Amarillo has been diagnosed with a severe respiratory condition of an unknown origin, that according to Northwest Texas Healthcare System (NWTHS).
According to the Dallam Hartley Counties Hospital District (DHCHD), the patient was transferred to Amarillo for evaluation with a case of acute respiratory distress syndrome.
“As directed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 is being considered along with multiple other potential causes of this respiratory condition, and appropriate isolation of the patient is being maintained until testing results return,” NWTHS said in a statement.
DHCHD said the patient reportedly had no travel history linking this to the new coronavirus, and that the patient is not the typical age and health conditions consistent with the new coronavirus cases.
NWTHS told us the patient does not have any risk factors specific for COVID-19.
DHCHD said, “There are many reasons for acute respiratory distress and this new coronavirus is only one, and . . . highly improbable at that.”
NWTHS said the City of Amarillo’s Department of Public Health has been made aware of the patient.
The City of Amarillo said its response system is working exactly as it is designed, and testing is currently being conducted to determine a fact-based diagnosis.
The city said there is no confirmation of a COVID-19 diagnosis, and the test results are anticipated with 24 to 72 hours.
DHCHD told us it is in constant contact with the CDC for specific instructions on the next steps. They said their facility is still open.
“I am not personally worried about this case as a problem for the community. We hope this patient does well in Amarillo,” said DHCHD Trauma Director, Dr. Jonathan Pesco.
NWTHS is reminding people to practice flu precautions by thoroughly washing hands, covering cough and sneezes, and avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of disease.