Coronavirus: Man hospitalized in New Jersey for COVID-19 speaks out

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
NJ coronavirus patient James Cai speaks out
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James Cai speaks from his hospital bed about battling the virus.

HACKENSACK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A man hospitalized in New Jersey with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is speaking out about the virus, as he efforts to get transferred to New York City for treatment.

James Cai believes he contracted the novel coronavirus while attending a medical meeting at the Westin Hotel in Times Square. Now, his cousin -- a cardiologist at Mount Sinai -- is trying to get him transferred.

He told ABC News that he was feeling sick a few days later and went to urgent care, but they didn't see anything and suggested a pulmonary embolism.

He then went to the emergency room, where he received a chest CT scan that uncovered a small lesion on his lung. That led the hospital to request a presumptive coronavirus test, which came back positive.

"The CDC never confirmed it, not even now," he said.

Cai, in his early 30s, said his doctors are surprised by his condition.

"They are surprised," he said. "It can be so bad, and I'm so young. I don't drink. I don't smoke."

Cai works as a physician's assistant and is currently being treated at Hackensack Hospital.

He said Monday that he feels a bit better, but he is assigned a nurse around the clock to monitor him.

Cai said he's been told that the hospital has a station ready for him in the ICU should his condition worsen.

"They say I should be OK, have a strong will, vitamin C, get sleep," Cai said.

He was also given medications being used in a trial and approved by Chinese authorities to help him recover.

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