James Cai, New Jersey´s first coronavirus patient is recovering from coronavirus. The 32-year-old physician’s assistant is now only experiencing a cough and fatigue after 11 days of battling the virus. At the moment he remains hospitalized at Hackensack University Medical Center.
“Fortunately I have the resources and knowledge about it. I would be dead and gone already,” Cai told reporters in a text message.
Cai credited several Chinese doctors with helping his providers here better understand the disease.
You can read: First coronavirus death in New Jersey
“Most medical providers here don’t know about it,” Cai said. “Medical providers need to communicate with Chinese medical teams.”
According to the New Jersey patient, he got sick while being at the Westin in Times Square for a medical conference from Feb. 28 to March 2.
Near the end of the conference, he started to fell bone pain, followed by a cough.
He then went to a local health clinic, where they found that his heart rate was fast, he said.
Cai was instructed to go to the hospital, where CT scans showed that he lost 50 percent of his lung function.
Doctors thought he had bacterial pneumonia, but his family was unconvinced and reached out to some Chinese doctors with experience in the treatment of COVID-19.
It was only with the Chinese experts’ encouragement that they agreed to perform a coronavirus test, he said.
When it tested positive, they recommended being treated with the antimalarial medicine chloroquine and the HIV drug Kaletra.
“Chinese experts suggest to treat with medicine to slow the virus first. Don’t wait,” he said. “Definitely I would not be here today [without them].”
His case is among the 23 people infected with the virus in New Jersey, where on Monday a state of emergency was declared.