PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - A 50-year-old man at McLaren Oakland hospital is Oakland County's first coronavirus-related death, the hospital announced on Thursday.
According to a statement from the hospital, the man died Wednesday. Authorities said he tested positive for COVID-19 and had underlying health conditions prior to catching the virus.
"We extend our sympathy to the patient’s family, and we encourage everyone to adhere to guidelines regarding social distancing and hand washing to help slow the spread of this highly contagious disease."
"This is a tragic loss and we share our heartfelt condolences with the family," Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. "This is also an important reminder of the seriousness of this virus and the importance of personal and community-wide efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.”
This is the second known coronavirus-related death in Michigan. The first one happened early Wednesday morning when a man in his 50s died at a Beaumont hospital in Wayne County.
Since Gov. Whitmer confirmed the first two positive cases in Michigan on March 10, the spread of the coronavirus has now been confirmed in several counties around the state.
Since the first cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Michigan, Whitmer has declared a state emergency, closed all schools and prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people.
Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus but may put you in a better position to fight it.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.
FOX 2 is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 1 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.
You can also get the latest coronavirus news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.