Darren Doyle, story:
One more COVID-19 case was confirmed in Edmonson County yesterday, which was patient number 7; however, Brownsville resident Patrick Merritt, CEO of A Plus Family Healthcare, found out that he was, in fact, patient number 7 on Saturday. He told family members and a few friends, but the news spread faster than the virus itself. He then chose to make his Facebook friends aware by making a post about his confirmation on his page later that day.
Patrick spoke to the Edmonson Voice today about his diagnosis so that our readers could hear directly from a patient and see just how contagious the coronavirus is.
"First of all, I feel fine," he said. "My symptoms weren't the standard symptoms that you're hearing the professionals discuss."
Patrick said on April 5th, he began experiencing allergy-related symptoms like many have this time of year.
"It was the normal stuff, just a little congestion and that was normal for me this time of year. I had no fever, no cough, and I felt great with no issues. Those symptoms stayed exactly the same for three days. Then, one evening I suddenly lost my sense of taste. I couldn't tell the difference between a banana and a french fry. I knew that loss of taste and smell could also be a symptom of coronavirus and I knew that I'd possibly been exposed to someone that had already tested positive, so I sprayed some cologne on my shirt and put it directly on my nose. When I couldn't smell that at all I knew I had to get tested."
He said he was tested on Thursday the 9th and was notified on Saturday morning the 11th that he had tested positive for COVID-19, making him Edmonson County's number 7 patient. Merritt said he had stayed inside with his family and had only gone out a couple times. He said contact with others beside his family was minimal, even non-existent.
He also said that he felt good enough to mow 4 acres on Saturday, the same day he was diagnosed as a positive case. The only major difference was that he was really fatigued that evening and slept a long time that night into Sunday.
"I still don't really feel bad. There are a couple reasons why this causes fear in people; one--it's the unknown. Why do some people become really sick and others don't even show the major symptoms? Who knows? This virus is crazy. The other thing is, this virus is so contagious...you can carry it and not know you have it. That's why when the CDC keeps telling us to stay away from each other, we need to do it. I'm 32 years old and in decent shape and I feel like I'll bounce back pretty quick, like I said, I feel fine, but it's the 70 or 80 year-old grandma that I could pass it to and not know it. She might not be able to bounce back, and for that reason, we need to limit our contact with others in a very serious way."
He also said he will remain quarantined until his two weeks are completed, then his family members must do the same.
"Please stay home. You could be carrying the virus with little or no symptoms. I'm ok, but others may not be," he said. "Thanks to everyone that's checked up on me, but I still don't really feel any different. I just hope we all can work together so that this thing will move on."