The first known case of the deadly respiratory disease, coronavirus, was reported in the United States on September 25, 2013. Since then, a total of nine people in four states have developed the disease, which is known to have originated in a member of a family who traveled to Saudi Arabia in August 2014.
The infection is still contagious, and new cases of pneumonia are expected as flu season heats up. To reduce the risk for spreading the virus to more people, health officials say that everyone in the community should be vaccinated against the disease. So far, only people who are more vulnerable to it, such as those with compromised immune systems or who are older than 65, have received the vaccine. But high risk groups are not the only ones at risk.
Vera Miron is a health assistant and administrator at NORAHA, which provides home health care services to about 1,400 people living in and around Eastchester, New York, near the Bronx. In August 2015, her mother, Ruth, 86, was hospitalized after a fall in the family’s mobile home. During the next 18 months, she returned multiple times to the hospital where she suffered a severe infection that ended in her death in May 2018.
“I was living out in the country, which is how Ruth lived her entire life. It was right in the Bronx, near our house,” said Ms. Miron. “I thought maybe she just didn’t go to the doctor enough, but she did go to the doctor and her doctor was very helpful to the family. But it never happened to her.”