County confirms 5 new virus cases; All reports are travel-related

HARLINGEN — Cameron County health officials have confirmed five new travel-related cases of coronavirus contracted by county residents.

All of the cases reported having traveled outside of the United States, Cameron County Public Health said in a statement Saturday.

The cases include an 81-year-old Harlingen man, a 57-year-old Harlingen woman, a 20-year-old Brownsville man, a 21-year-old Rancho Viejo man and a 20-year-old Brownsville woman.

The first two cases — the Harlingen man and Harlingen woman — do not appear to be linked to the other cases, the health department said.

However, Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino said Saturday that authorities believe it appears the 21-year-old from Rancho Viejo and the two 20-year-olds from Brownsville are related to the same trip taken by a 21-year-old Rancho Viejo man who tested positive last Thursday after traveling to Spain and Ireland.

Cameron County Public Health reported that all of the cases are currently under home isolation.

The 81-year-old Harlingen man tested positive after traveling to Florida, authorities said Saturday.

He was tested Thursday because of symptoms of cough, congestion and fever, the health department said in a statement.

The department received laboratory confirmation on Friday.

Further information on the other cases was not immediately available.

Last Wednesday, a 21-year-old from Rancho Viejo, who traveled to Spain and Ireland between March 5 and 12, presented himself at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen with signs of a fever and cough. He was subsequently tested.

Cameron County Public Health received confirmation Thursday.

Also last week, Cameron County officials said a couple who vacationed on South Padre Island for the winter had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

According to a news release from Treviño, during their Island stay the couple traveled to Idaho for a wedding in late February and early March. It was then they were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

The couple came back to the Island for several days before returning home to Michigan around March 11 where they live and were recently diagnosed.

“Cameron County Public Health has implemented their COVID-19 action response plan and is conducting the epidemiological investigation to identify others who may have been exposed and test the individuals showing signs and symptoms,” the health department said in a statement.

“Cameron County Public Health will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they are received.”