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'Every day is getting worse': Coronavirus patient sends stark warning to others about disease

Louise Hall
·3 min read
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The first confirmed coronavirus patient in New Jersey has spoken out about his experience of contracting the virus.

James Cai, a 32-year-old physician’s assistant, who was the first patient to test positive for the virus in the state, spoke to CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez about how rapidly he had fallen ill after contracting Covid-19.

“Every day is getting worse,” he said in a video from the hospital.

“It happened so quick,” he told the local station.

CBSNewYork reported that the man, who works in both Manhattan and Fort Lee, New Jersey, became sick after attending a medical conference at a Times Square hotel last weekend.

In the report CBSNewYork noted Mr Cai said he was not a smoker and had no underlying health conditions before contracting the virus.

They said he wanted to warn others to take the threat seriously.

“A lot of people say it’s OK, don’t wear masks, I don’t believe that.”

Official advice from the World Health Organisation says: "If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

"If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly."

Mr Cai has been hospitalised at Hackensack University Medical Centre since Tuesday.

Governor Phil Murphy has since tweeted an update declaring the identification of six presumptive positive case of Covid-19 in the state.

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Senior Health Officials have said that America is “past the point of containment” with more than 550 confirmed cases in the United States and at least 22 deaths linked to the outbreak.

Across the country numbers of cases continue to rise with the number of positive cases hitting 142 in New York state from 105 the day earlier, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday.

California has more than 100 confirmed cases.

The Centres for Disease Control and the Trump administration have faced significant criticism for their response to the virus and rate of testing.

After promising that every American can be tested for coronavirus, Mike Pence, head of the US coronavirus taskforce, admitted that there were not enough tests available to meet the demand of the spread of the virus.

CBS2
CBS2

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Mr Pence said: "We don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward."

Anthony Fauci, head of infectious diseases at the US National Institutes of Health, told CNN the outbreak was evolving and the United States was in a "fog of war" similar to the early days of the HIV and bird flu epidemics.

As the virus spreads in the United States, life is becoming increasingly disrupted. Concerts and conferences are being cancelled and universities are telling students to stay home and take classes online.

Over the weekend, the number of people infected with the virus worldwide passed 100,000.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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