73-year-old patient dies from COVID-19; first virus-related death in county


SHELBY COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Health officials have announced the first COVID-19 death in the county.

They said the patient was a 73-year-old man who was hospitalized at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon. He tested positive on April 24 and died from complications with the virus on Tuesday. Officials said he did not have any underlying health conditions.

Health officials said COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets, which happens if someone who is sick coughs or sneezes. They said the best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible; wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water; avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. You should also clean all commonly used surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, phones, etc.

Officials said symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear two to 14 days after initial exposure. Those include fever, cough and shortness of breath. You are asked to monitor your symptoms. If you think you may have COVID-19, you are asked to call ahead before visiting your primary care physician and let them know you may have the virus. You should seek medical attention immediately if your illness is worsening, such as having difficulty breathing. If you have a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and tell dispatch personnel you have or are being evaluated for COVID-19.

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