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Coronavirus sweeps through Iowa firefighter's family

Virus Outbreak Firefighter's Family
Posted at 1:47 PM, Apr 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-26 13:47:35-04

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An Iowa firefighter whose family has been devastated by the coronavirus says he wants people to know how easily the virus can spread.

Twenty-nine-year-old Omar Martinez said Friday that his mother first tested positive for the virus on April 3.

Then his 22-year-old sister Evelyn, who is the mother of a toddler, contracted the virus and has been in the hospital since April 10.

On April 15, Omar says his 58-year-old father, Jose Gabriel Martinez, was hospitalized. He died on Tuesday.

The family shares a home in West Liberty, Iowa, where they settled after immigrating from Mexico in the 1990s.

Omar Martinez says, “I don’t wish this upon anybody."

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.