On Sunday March first, the Sarasota Bradenton community became aware of a patient being treated at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, who had been confirmed to have Covid 19, a Coronavirus. A letter the hospital issued to staff, went viral on social media. The next day, Florida Governor Ron Desantis confirmed the patient, a resident of Manatee County, had indeed tested positive by the CDC. That patient is thought to be Florida patient 1, the first person to contract the virus in the state. The governor also revealed a second patient in Hillsborough County Florida, is a woman in her twenties which had been traveling abroad to Italy.
Now a week later the outbreak of Coronavirus has continued to spread. iHeartradio Sarasota interviews that patient, Florida Patient 1, who was treated at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota. He is choosing to remain anonymous, to protect his family, friends, and community. He's now released from the hospital, as officials have deemed his case appropriate for self-quarantine in his home. He's quarantined with his wife, who is also under strict quarantine directives. They're in daily contact with multiple health departments, and by proxy the CDC, with full support of healthcare professionals since his admission to Doctors Hospital.
His goal today is to break his silence and tell his story, to thank the healthcare professionals who treated him, and provide some perspective around the spread of the virus. Florida patient 1 suffers from an underlying illness which put him at higher risk for infection. He quickly notes over 18,000 people have died from the flu this season.
Still, like the flu, Coronavirus is primarily spread through person-to-person contact. CDC Prevention says it may also be spread if someone touches a surface with the virus, then touches their mouth, nose or potentially eyes. That however is not thought to be the main means of transmission. Researchers are trying to determine how long coronavirus can live on surfaces like handrails, doorknobs and elevator buttons. It is this fear of the unknown which is fueling public debate about Covid-19.
Florida patient 1 is speaking out today so we can understand a little more about his story, and his experience with this virus. Please understand the following discussion is his experience, and has not been evaluated by any healthcare or scientific organization.