Fil-Am blogger recounts harrowing experience with COVID-19 on social media

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2020 03:54 PM

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NEW YORK – Filipino-American David Lat, New York state’s patient number 951 to test positive for coronavirus, has become sicker.

His mother, Zenaida Garcia Lat, posted on social media: “Please pray for David. He’s very critical. Intubated on respirator now.”

The Yale Law school graduate is a former federal prosecutor, who authored the book, Supreme Ambition, and is also a blogger for “Underneath Their Robes.”

Prior to testing positive for COVID-19, the 44-year-old Fil-Am described himself as generally healthy, someone who didn’t drink or took drugs.

Lat even completed the New York Marathon twice.

Lat is now in total isolation, with no visitors allowed at the NYU Langone medical center in Manhattan. He was admitted on March 16.

Lat talked about his challenges prior to his intubation, posting online, “I am constantly weak and winded. I’m hooked up to oxygen 24/7. Even with oxygen, the simplest tasks are extremely difficult, I have never been this sick in my entire life.”

It all began on March 7th when Lat felt unwell while having dinner with friends.

He had chills thereafter, and fever that ranged from 101 to 104 F.

He said he also suffered from nasty cough with heavy chest congestion that lasted through March 13th.

When it got worse, he said he made his way to the ER on March 15th.

But he was not tested for COVID-19 because back then, Lat said, “You needed symptoms or have traveled to affected areas, or exposure to an affected person or test results that rule out alternatives like a cold/flu panel.”

Lat was sent home.

Lat said it was ridiculous that he was not tested for COVID-19 after being seriously ill for a week, and after being tested negative for 85% of viral and bacterial agents.

When he had difficulty breathing on March 16th, he went back to the ER. He was admitted, placed in an isolation room, and was finally given the coronavirus test from which he tested positive.

Lat posted on Twitter: It shouldn’t have taken him two separate ER visits, both times with severe respiratory symptoms, to get tested.

Lat said that even though testings have improved since the outbreak, many who need to be tested still get turned away.

Lat is among those who got infected unknowingly by asymptomatic coronavirus carriers.

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