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A 75-year-old Texas woman is showing symptoms of coronavirus after her 77-year-old husband died on Sunday after contracting the virus, according to NBC News affiliate KXAS.
Jean James was placed in isolation after her husband, Patrick James, tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, days after his death, the outlet reported.
Though she has not yet tested positive for the virus, Jean’s son Greg Brandt said he’s “100 percent sure she has it,” in an interview with the news station.
Patrick — who lived with Jean at Texas Masonic Retirement Center in Arlington — had reportedly experienced nasal congestion and other symptoms in recent weeks but did not immediately believe he had contracted the highly contagious coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
He was recently taken to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with double pneumonia, but it wouldn’t be for days after his admission that doctors finally screened him for coronavirus, according to the report.
“He got sick,” Brandt said of his step-father. “He got congested, he thought he had the flu.”
“He was in the hospital for about four days before they gave him the test,” he added. “He wasn’t in the priority testing because he hadn’t traveled abroad.”
The first symptoms of coronavirus affect the upper respiratory system and present as coughing and sneezing, much like a cold. But as the illness progresses, symptoms will become more like the flu, and infected persons may experience a running fever, fatigue and body aches.
Two days after Patrick died on Sunday, the results of his test came back positive, officially making him the second coronavirus-related death in the state. Heartbreakingly, Jean was not able to spend time with Patrick before his death.
Since it began to spread around the globe in December, COVID-19 has proven especially deadly for senior citizens.
According to the CDC, because older adults are more at risk of suffering serious symptoms from coronavirus, they have been advised to stay indoors and avoid crowded places to reduce their exposure during the outbreak.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott addressed the media on Tuesday, where he activated members of the Texas National Guard to help in the state’s response to the epidemic.
“I realize that we’re dealing with a situation that a lot of Texans are extremely concerned about,” Abbott said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, coronavirus has sickened more than 209,300 people around the globe, according to a New York Times database. In the United States, there have so far been at least 7,047 cases and 121 deaths as a result of the virus, with these numbers rising every day.
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