A HEALTHY 57-year-old woman has been named as the first person in America to die from the coronavirus.
Patricia Dowd died at her Santa Clara County, California, home on February 6 after experiencing flu like symptoms.
However, her death was not reported as a coronavirus fatality as she was not tested for the disease.
Dowd’s family had assumed that she died from a heart attack, despite the fact she did not smoke, exercised regularly, watched her diet and didn’t have any underlying health conditions.
The mother worked as a manager for a semiconductor company and was working from home on the day that she died.
She had spoken to a colleague at 8am, but was found dead by her daughter just two hours later.
Her brother, Rick Cabello, told the LA Times: “She wasn’t feeling well, which was very unusual for her.
“I remember her specifically saying ‘I’m not feeling well’.”
Dowd’s brother-in-law Jeff Macias also told the outlet that she had planned to travel to China later this year and traveled abroad “multiple times a year to different global locations.”
He said: “Where did this come from if it wasn’t her traveling?”
“Patricia may not be the first. It’s just the earliest we have found so far.
“Let’s keep looking so we know the extent of it — that’s for the greater good, for everyone else and my family included.”
The real cause of Dowd’s death was announced this week.
Santa Clara County Public Health said in a statement late Tuesday: “The Medical Examiner-Coroner performed autopsies on two individuals who died at home on February 6, 2020 and February 17, 2020.
“Today, the Medical Examiner-Coroner received confirmation from the CDC that tissue samples from both cases are positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).”
Dr. Sara Cody, the health director in Santa Clara County, said: “If we had had widespread testing earlier and we were able to document the level of transmission in the county, if we had understood then people were already dying, yes, we probably would have acted earlier than we did, which would have meant more time at home”.
Until now, the first documented case of coronavirus was in Washington State on February 29.
However, officials later announced that two people had died from the virus at the beginning of the month.
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The coronavirus has devastated the United States, having killed at least 48,035 Americans.
The country currently has a total of 856,584 confirmed cases.
However, 83,462 have recovered from the disease.
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