A MAN sick with the coronavirus believes he recently contracted it during a meeting in Times Square — and is urging people to take the health threat seriously.
James Cai, a 32-year-old physician’s assistance had attended a medical conference at the Westin New York hotel in Manhattan.
He told WABC he believes he got the coronavirus while at the event, which New Jersey health officials said was held from February 28 to March 2.
After he left the conference, Cai said he began to feel sick and went to urgent care, but medical professionals there suggested he had a pulmonary embolism, or when arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot.
Cai said he went to the emergency room and they found a small lesion on his lung, which led to the hospital testing him for coronavirus.
"It happened so quick," Cai told WCBS of his getting sick.
He said he didn't have any underlying health conditions, doesn't drink or smoke, and still got sick.
“A lot of people say it’s OK, don’t wear masks," he said. "I don't believe that."
Cai said doctors are surprised he contractor the virus because he’s “so young.” Cai said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t confirmed he has it.
The 32-year-old was the first coronavirus patient in New Jersey and is currently being treated at a hospital in Hackensack.
Cai said: "They say I should be OK, have a strong will, vitamin C, get sleep."
He's warning others to take the coronavirus threat seriously: “Every day is getting worse."
As of Sunday, New Jersey has six coronavirus cases.
Health authorities said they are tracking the health of 27 people in the state — with nine of them in Bergen County.
The region borders New York, where officials said Monday there were at least 142 cases of coronavirus.
While State Lt. Gov Sheila Oliver said overall risk to the average New Jersey resident remains low, State Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli said: “As you can see, from north to south, the coronavirus seems to be spreading.”
More than 500 cases of coronavirus have been reported throughout the U.S. — and at least 22 people have died because of the illness.
Globally, more than 111,000 cases have been reported and nearly 4,000 people have died.
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