By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – The first person on record in Winnebago County to contract COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is recovering at home, officials said Sunday.
The patient is a man in his 60s who visited an urgent-care clinic before testing positive at Javon Bea Hospital. The man does not live in the city of Rockford and had not been traveling, leading doctors to believe he contracted the virus through community transmission.
“He had no other identified risk of travel or contact with another case of COVID-19 and met a clinical picture suggesting community transmission,” Winnebago County Health Department Director Dr. Sandra Martell said at a press conference.
Martell added that along with frequent hand washing, social distancing of at least six feet is the most effective way to prevent transmission.
“Stay away,” Martell said. “This sounds kind of harsh, but it’s that six feet of social distance, whether in line at the grocery store, at the workplace, or walking the dog outside–it’s six feet.”
While there is no cure or vaccination for COVID-19, disease experts are researching treatments options.
The majority of people who come down with the virus will recover within several days. However, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems could become extremely ill. About 6% of all cases are critical. Symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever and breathing difficulties, which can be severe in some cases.
As of this report, there are approximately 3,200 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States. Sixty-one people have died. There are 93 cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, a total that’s nearly doubled in the last two days.