Arizona sees first known death from COVID-19

Arizona sees first known death from COVID-19

Arizona and Maricopa County health officials confirmed the first death in the state due to COVID-19.

The individual was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, officials announced Friday night. His date of death was not released. 

The Maricopa County Health Department is notifying close contacts of the man and will ask them to monitor for symptoms.

“We express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends grieving their loved one during this difficult time,” Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health Services director, said in a news release.

“COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. We expect to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and there could be more deaths. It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect you and your family from this disease.”

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

• 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 immediately throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. For people with mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids and get rest. For people with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek health care.

For more information about the COVID-19 response in Arizona, see azhealth.gov/COVID19.

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