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Several COVID-19 patients on road to recovery in Nueces County

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Posted at 5:39 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 19:07:36-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The number of confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses in Corpus Christi just reached 65, but what about the number of patients who have recovered?

Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District Assistant Director Dr. Dante Gonzalez said that number is harder to pin down.

The health department has identified five patients it considers "recovered:" patients who have gone without fever for five days and who haven't had any symptoms for 14 days.

These are the patients they are asking to donate convalescent plasma in order to possibly help the critically ill.

A patient may consider themselves recovered, but their definition may not match the health department's working definition, he said. And patients who are considered "recovered" are not the same as patients still "recovering."

"We have some who are able to go outside in the yard," Gonzalez said. "But for an athlete, that's not recovered."

Gonzalez said recovery information is readily available in other cities because they've been affected by the novel coronavirus for a longer amount of time, which gives them more data to report.

He said Nueces County only saw its first confirmed case on March 21.

That was two-and-a-half weeks ago: just three days longer than the period in which convalescent plasma candidates are required to be symptom-free after having the virus.

He said the health department calls and checks in regularly with diagnosed patients to see where they are in the healing process. There are also patients who were hit harder by the illness than others, making recovery take longer for some.

"So we're looking at patients and asking questions to see the level of their recovery," he said.